Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.
Yesterday in worship we concluded our series on discipleship with the concept of holy tempers. Tempers are those affections within us that shape every element of our lives for good or ill. In our Christian tradition these tempers are holy when properly placed in the love of God and the love of all our neighbors in creation. These tempers are formed within us by God’s grace as we respond to God’s love and grace by participating in the means of grace through which God promises we can receive the grace that transforms our lives by setting us free from sin so we may love.
This week brings up an important way we can learn to love and grow in love: thanksgiving. The simple act of taking time to meditate on all the things we have to be thankful for, practicing gratitude, can help us learn to love by recognizing how we have been loved by God and others. Recognizing this love helps us to feel the love we have received and strengthens us to love others.
So take some time this holiday week and reflect on all you have to be thankful for in your life. Say a prayer of thanksgiving to God. Write a note of thanksgiving to someone close to you letting them know how thankful you are for the positive impact they have had on your life.
Grace and peace,
Rev. J.D. Allen