Whenever the calendar turns from October to November, my heart shifts toward Thanksgiving. As a culture, we often rush past Thanksgiving to embrace the merriment of Christmas. As much as I love Christmas, I think that is a huge mistake.
Spontaneous gratitude is one of the most obvious characteristics of a healthy soul. Gratitude cannot coexist with pride, or fear, or self-absorption of any kind. Gratitude is the soul’s reflexive response to grace. When grace falls on our lives, it prompts gratitude because we know we don’t deserve it. Grace humbles us to the ground, as our hearts brim with thankfulness. Grace dispels fear, reminding us that we are loved more than we ever knew. Grace draws us out of our selfishness, lifting our eyes to the horizon of the Giver. Without grace, our gratitude will always be forced. But when grace falls, gratitude flows from the heart with ease. Grace makes us grateful.
One of the ways we express our gratitude to God as a church family is through our Thanksgiving Offering. Every year we pause and give particular attention to the ways God has abundantly graced our lives above and beyond what we could ever have imagined. In light of His grace, we eagerly give an above-and-beyond offering to God in thanksgiving for all He has done for us. This year’s offering will go toward planting churches in Cuba and in Turkey, as well as responding to the basic humanitarian needs of migrant families here in Chicago. We give generously and with thanksgiving, because God has given so generously to us!
Would you please be praying about what part God would have you play in this year’s Thanksgiving Offering as we enter this month with gratitude?
Because we are loved, more than we know!