Thursday, November 22, 2007


It seems to me that the basic Christian mindset is, or ought to be, gratitude. What are we Christians, anyway? What defines us? Isn't it the fact that, completely apart from any merit of our own, we trust in Jesus' sacrifice for our sins? In other words, our only standing before God--the only thing that sets us apart and gives us hope for eternal life--is having received a gift. A gift of infinite value to us and inestimable cost to the Giver. A gift that we could not possibly deserve--a gift that was necessary precisely because we did not deserve it.

What possible response should that engender apart from gratitude? Certainly not the religious, moralistic pride that all-too-often we can exhibit. We forget that we are a community of sinners before we become a community of saints, and that anything good in us is a gracious gift of God.

I think every other aspect of the truly Christian mindset springs from gratitude. Joy, for example. Can a person who is unthankful be truly joyful? I know that in my own life, moments of pure joy are those in which I am the most conscious of having been richly blessed, having received what I did not earn. Or love. The more conscious I am of being a recipient of God's love, unmerited, undeserved, the more easily I can share this love with others, without regard for whether I think they deserve it. It doesn't matter: freely, freely, I have received, which helps me to freely, freely give.

And so, amidst the feasting and football, whatever our circumstances or station in life, lets remember, not Pilgrims and Indians, but God's truly rich blessings on us. And may we all have a most blessed day of Thanksgiving.

Earlier Thanksgiving posts: Don't "Happy Turkey Day" Me! and 40 Things to be Thankful For.

Technorati Tags: , ,

No comments:

Post a Comment