Thanksgiving is that time of the year when we try to stop following the example of the 9 lepers who were healed by Jesus and did not return to thank him, and attempt to be like the grateful leper who did return. (Luke 17:12-19)
I receive much from Christ. I receive much, but generally keep going like the ungrateful lepers. Maybe it’s because I have joined the great Christian rationalization that if God knows my heart he knows that I am grateful. The truth be known, God does know my heart and he knows that not only am I ungrateful most of the time, I have just forgotten what I received in the first place. Frankly, I have a darker place of pride, selfishness and self-idolatry; most of the time I don’t thank the Lord because I am under some twisted little notion that I deserve whatever he gives me. Mercifully, I have not consciously pursued the logical extension of that nonsense which goes something like this; I don’t need to be thankful to God because I deserve whatever I receive; it may be his privilege to give more, than mine to receive anyway. Awful isn’t it? Giving thanks is an ongoing, worshipful place of silent awe at what God in Christ has done. Sometimes thanksgiving is accompanied by words; it is most meaningful for me when it is a simple receiving of God’s grace. Often in the best, most intimate part of thanksgiving, I simply weep. Having recounted my own calamitous relationship to giving God thanks, let me share the hope I have found in an awe of God, let me share in words some thanking to the risen Lord.
I give thanks for the person, creativity, brightness and call of Sam Chase who began his duties as the General Secretary of CBM this month.
I am thankful for John Thwaite who will be ordained at the Forge in Victoria; welcome afresh John, and thanksgiving for your colleague, Mike Oshiro.
Wild thanksgiving and anticipation for the largest number of people at Banff Pastor’s conference this year (and in for many years).
Thanks for the life and work of Ken Bellows, John Wilton and Gerry Fisher (all former Executive ministers) who were willing to share their eclectic and great wisdom with me for a day recently.
Thanksgiving for the variety of ways each reader of this letter and every church in our church family will give thanks to God this weekend… and grow into doing it daily.