Saturday, April 7, 2018
In my Dad’s study of Aristotle, one of the central lessons he gleaned and took great joy in sharing had to do with gratitude. He called it at least two things: Practical Thanksgiving and ThankGodfulness.
“I thank God for you,” was a line he used frequently, and not just in talking with his family. He considered gratitude the appropriate place to begin any interaction with anyone – friend, acquaintance, stranger, enemy. When beginning with gratitude, we ask ourselves, What is the beautiful, loving, and just thing to do with and for the person in front of me right now?
Jesus called that love. Putting it into practice is called discipleship. The community it forms is called the kingdom of God.
Jonesborough Presbyterian, I thank God for you. Over the years of my dad’s struggle with ALS you have cared for me, been patient with me as I left town more than I would have otherwise. And after Dad’s death, you have shown me and my family the compassionate love of Jesus. It is no wonder that JPC seems to be bucking the trend of declining membership and sparse worship attendance. You know how to do community, and you do it graciously and genuinely.
For the cards, the calls, the visits, the hugs, the prayers, the food – for just being you, Thank You.
May God continue to bless all of us in our ministry together, and each of us as we respond to the particular ministries for which we are gifted and to which each of us is called.
May our congregation continue to grow into a place where God’s people are free to discover those gifts and then equipped to serve. That is to say, may we continue growing into an outpost of the True Church, the Body of Christ, a visible community of hospitality, gratitude, and service.
Grace and Peace,