November is often named as Gratitude month since Thanksgiving is celebrated on the 3rd Thursday of the month. Giving thanks can take many forms in our lives. We display it by adding leaves to our dining tables, making room for extended family and those new to our communities. We express our gratitude by donating funds to organizations who provide services to individuals and communities with specific needs. We express gratitude by making pledges to our faith community to ensure the church’s capability of being God’s presence in our local community and beyond. I’ve often heard the phrase, gratitude is a verb. Yes, it is a feeling, but a feeling which propels and moves us forward as we live in the world. Georg Simmel refers to gratitude as “the moral memory of mankind” in the sense that it “encourages us to appreciate gifts and to pay them forward.”
We are a community of faith who faithfully practices our gratitude by adding a leaf to our table of God’s blessings. I often hold a theological image of a bicycle wheel comprised of overlapping spokes with a hub at its center. That wheel serves to represent a variety of pathways to our Creator God. I can also imagine Gratitude at that center. From it stem a number of expressions, each impacting one another, and increasing the power of the wheel.
It is my hope and prayer that each of you will feel God’s blessings as you express gratitude, as you add a leaf to your table or indeed another spoke to the wheel of gratitude.
In Profound Hope,
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