From the Desktop of the Pastor – Week of the 18th Sunday after Pentecost (Thanksgiving Sunday)

Hi all,

So next week is Thanksgiving already, giving our kids yet another long weekend. I believe this makes 4 long weekends in a row, which is a little strange considering that we’ve only gone through 4 weeks of school so far. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, I like it when they don’t have school because then I can spend more time with them, and also (and perhaps more importantly), I don’t have to wake up earlier and face the stress of getting them ready.

Yes, for that I will complain…

Although I guess I shouldn’t, as maybe I should appreciate that I have kids in the first place. But that’s hard, isn’t it? To try an appreciate what we have when we often don’t really feel like it. Especially with the past couple of years that we’ve been having.

So I get it, we don’t really feel appreciative when things have been so tough. We don’t want to pretend that the difficulties didn’t exist by remembering just the good things. We aren’t really thankful because life didn’t give us much to be thankful for.

But that is where I’m sitting this week. I don’t think a thankful attitude comes from an abundance of things to be thankful for. Rather, I’m starting to see how a thankful attitude allows us to see just how much there really is to be thankful for. So instead of allow our circumstances affect our way of thinking, we have our way of thinking affect our circumstances.

Because really, as tough as the past couple years have been, we have to admit that life has always been tough. But God continually given us reasons to be thankful and blessed us with a joy and peace that surpasses understanding.

Here are next week’s readings:
2 Kings 5:1-3, 7-15c
Psalm 111
2 Timothy 2:8-15
Luke 17:11-19

Here we have some familiar stories of thanksgiving and appreciation, or at least stories about skin conditions. But above all, I think they are stories about change. I see a change in attitudes, a change in paradigms, a change in understanding of who we are are whose we are.

See Namaan was a proud man and learned to be humbled and changed his mind about his own power and prestige. Paul, aka Saul is always an example of how one can be changed by the gospel, and this particular passage is testament to that. And that lone thankful Samaritan leper who thanked Jesus had his mind changed about who God loves and provides for.

This shift in their views of the world and self allowed them to see much more of God’s grace and blessing. Their willingness to be humbled by God’s might helped them to know that God’s love covers even them. Their being healed let them understand that even in the worst situations (i.e. leprosy and prison), God is still worthy to be praised. Not for the hardship of course, but for all that happens even in the hardship. For all that God does in and through our lives in spite of our recognition of it. For all that God is as our God, loving and gracious, patient and kind, holy and merciful.

So we truly can say “Thanks be to God!” for there is much that God gives and does! Have a wonderful week!

Photo by Pro Church Media on Unsplash

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