By Rev Angela C Bosfield Palacious
During the last months of the year, there are a number of occasions when we intentionally remember to say “thank you.” For example:
Harvest Thanksgiving Sunday: Is the church’s annual occasion to bring all the produce of fruits and vegetables, and other cultural artefacts that are created here, in order to express our gratitude. It is wonderful that we then share this with others. Are we grateful for all the blessings that we have received from God? This year let us extend our giving to institutions to include other items which may be needed: fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, office equipment and toiletries, to name a few. Check with them about their wish list.
Advent Sunday: This is the start of the new Church year and we remember why we need a Saviour to come. Do we recognise the supreme sacrifice of the cross and do we offer our lives as a sacrifice in return? Do we come to church weekly to join with the church family in heartfelt appreciation for God’s grace?
Let us take advantage of the spirit of thanksgiving to write, call, email, text or communicate our acknowledgement of the kindnesses received from members of our family, circle of friends, church, school and work place. It is a great feeling to thank God for all of our blessings, including the people in our lives.
How many small matters do we overlook in our own home? Who takes out the garbage, feeds the pets, chauffeurs the children, cooks, cleans, or does chores in the yard? Do we remember to say “thank you” to those whom we love and with whom we live? Let us make a concerted effort to notice, approve and applaud love and kindness in any form.
Why not make a note this week of the gracious acts engaged in by each person with whom we have regular contact. Whether it is the person who puts in the gas in our car, to the packing person in the food-store, the security officer who opens the door at the bank, housekeepers, gardeners, persons in the nursery, bus drivers or those who sell newspapers, all of these persons significantly add to our lives in some way or another.
As Christians, the more grateful we are, the more contented we will become. The more contented we are, the more we will want to help others to be able to thank our God for the love we exhibit to them.
As the hymn “Count your blessings” suggests, keep track of what you are enjoying, be conscious of the good times, share your praise of God with others who will celebrate with you.
Wherever, whenever, however, remember to have a grateful heart, remember to give thanks to God, first and foremost, and to others next, and finally be grateful for who you are and make the most of your life to the honour and glory of God.
• Rev Angela Palacious, a motivational speaker and author of several devotional books, is an Anglican priest. She may be contacted at 393-9000 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.