This Sunday, November 23, is Thanksgiving Sunday. Susan and I will be in worship with her parents, Bob and Nancy Prince, at Immanuel Baptist Church in Monticello, Arkansas. Her father, Bob Prince, will be honored on Sunday as a Deacon Emeritus of that church. They helped found the church and were, of course, charter members of it. They have been active at every level of the life of the church. It is appropriate on that Sunday that much of our family will be together to help celebrate Dad’s honor and to join with that congregation in giving thanks for his service.
You’ll want to be in worship at First Church on Sunday. Reverend Linda McDermott will be preaching in the sanctuary services on “Gratitude and Grace” as the congregation gathers to give thanks for the grace of God and the blessings that flow from God’s grace. Gratitude, practiced fully, is more than the expression of words — it is a way of life.
Some years ago I heard an interview with the founder of an organization called A Network for Grateful Living. Their website, www.gratefulness.org, describes the organization in this way: “It is a global organization offering online and community-based educational programs and practices which inspire and guide a commitment to grateful living, and catalyze the transformative power of personal and societal responsibility. We hold grateful living as an engaged mindfulness practice, grounded in both wisdom and science, which supports our ability to see the wonder and opportunity in every moment, and motivates us to act boldly with love, generosity, and respect towards one another, ourselves, and the Earth.”
I was fascinated with the interview as the founder of the organization talked about the power of living with an attitude of gratefulness. He described what grateful living means and I went to their website to capture those words to remind me how I can live gratefully. Here is their description of grateful living. I hope you find it helpful for you own life, as I have for mine. The practice of Grateful Living:
• Reveals that everyone belongs and everyone is valued.
• Generates an experience of oneness and interconnectedness.
• Deepens love, compassion, and respect for all life.
• Cultivates a sense of sufficiency and abundance.
• Awakens kindness and generosity.
• Inspires the impulse to serve with humility.
• Contributes to the healing of body, mind, and spirit.
• Unleashes joy.
• Anchors hope and trust in life, especially in challenging times.
• Opens us to growth and opportunity.
• Offers pathways from conflict to peace. And
• Is an engaged YES to a wholehearted life.
I think that’s a pretty good list. What a difference gratitude and grace make in our lives and in our world! May this Thanksgiving Sunday be a new beginning of Grateful Living for us all.
Grace and Peace,