Gratitude is a quality or feeling of being thankful. As a feeling it fades in and out of awareness. As adults we know that as our feelings change, the reasons for gratitude remain constant as the stars, the sun, and oxygen.
I often wish my children would be more connected to all there is to be grateful for, but they usually feel more intensely what is lacking or difficult.
The resonant field of gratitude enlarges a sense of abundance, provision, place, belonging, and connection in the scheme of things. When we are grateful we feel, even if things are not perfect, they are embraced.
Things are not perfect this Thanksgiving. It will just be four of us for dinner. Not much of a feast. Grief is strong this year with the recent death of my mother in law and seems to surface every grief in life. You know what I mean? It is easy to lose a sense of gratitude in these times.
Jesus is our spiritual guide, yet did not speak much about being grateful. He did not wag his finger at others the way I do at the girls and myself. Rather Jesus did something far more powerful to enlarge our sense of belonging, place, provision, abundance and connection. He pointed beyond himself.
Jesus pointed beyond himself. His teachings pointed out prejudice in his society, and he reached out to the sick, the lame, and the blind. To the Pharisees he pointed to the law of love, and to the sinners he pointed the way to freedom, to the disciples he pointed to the way of service, to the political leaders he pointed to the cross, and at his resurrection he pointed to the peace of God. Jesus' life revealed God's hidden protective, healing, saving hand actively embracing all of humankind.
Jesus helps us to see that shimmering in our lives, whether we are grateful or not, is the loving presence of God. We are enlarged by connection to God.
Your grocery cart may not be as full. You may be alone or your dinner party small, yet your table of gratitude is large. Join Christ’s feast of belonging.
With you on the journey