A Word from the Pastor . . .
Saying "Thank You" to God and Others
Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Hopefully, we are beginning to count our blessings and reflect on what it means to be thankful to God for all that has been given to us over the course of this past year. That said, it is only natural for us to want to say “Thank you” to God. For many of us, however, we make known our thanks in different kinds of ways.
Some people may never say “Thank you” much like the nine lepers story (Luke 17) who were healed by Jesus. One of them demonstrated a sense of thankfulness to Jesus, but the other nine of the ten lacked an attitude of gratitude. Sometimes we receive good things from God all year, but we might forget to say “Thank you” to God in return.
Others say “Thank you” only when reminded and then sometimes the words are only a matter of courtesy, and not the expression of real appreciation. Perhaps you have heard a mother say to her children, “What do you say?” and the children mumble the words and walk away. Of course, we ask for patience as we remember that it takes time to learn this act of courtesy.
Others, however, not only are grateful, but say so in such joyful words that there can be no doubt about the fact. Parents like to hear such words from children. Friends like to hear them from others and God likes to hear them from everybody. Appreciation means a great deal to people, and we ought to be lavish in our saying “thanks” if we really are grateful.
There are many people who make known their Saying “Thank You” to God and Others gratitude by giving a gift in return for a gift they received from another person. Have you ever had someone give you a gift and in a day or two you returned the favor? The idea is to show some kind of appreciation and to demonstrate that you don’t take gift-giving for granted.
Another way people show appreciation is to make promises to God. I’ve known people to survive a terrible sickness or escape death and as a result they show appreciation to God and others by making or holding to a promise they made. Alexander Campbell (1788-1866) had an experience when he was nineteen and found himself in a terrible storm at sea. He expected to die at any moment. He promised God that if the lives of the family were spared, he would show his gratitude by becoming a minister of the gospel. He made good on his promise by becoming one of the greatest of ministers of the 1800’s. Sometimes when people have good fortune, they say, “I must show my gratitude by being a better person, and serving God and others more faithfully.” Just how do you say “Thank you” to God and others? I encourage you to do it in such a way that it will be pleasing to God, for God is good and God’s loving-kindness extends to all generations.
Grace and Peace,