In Touch November 17, 2010
Posted on November 19, 2010 by under Touché,

The Circle of Gratitude

May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. (Colossians 1:11-12)

I saw Bob Dylan on Tuesday night.  I would like to say it was a dream come true and all my joy was complete, but to be honest it was disappointing.  It wasn’t his singing. For too long I have heard all the Dylan jokes about the raspy voice that no one can understand.  It was hard to understand him and many of the songs that I have memorized I could not recognize until the third or fourth stanza, but more than that it was like the audience that adored him did not matter.  He stepped out and started singing with no welcome to the crowd and he played through his songs like we were not there.   I went with Jim Holder and he said it would be nice if he would just say “thanks for coming.”    I know this is Dylan’s style and I have seen him before, but something was missing.

There is a circle of gratitude in living that was not present on Tuesday night.  Dylan’s adoring fans wanted just a little touch of his love and received none, and I went home feeling like the circle was broken.  I am thankful that the relationship we have with God is a circle of gratitude that goes on giving thanks forever.  I am amazed at the continual way that thanksgiving permeates all of scripture.  It is the natural reaction to the grace and power that is God’s.  The beauty of our relationship in Christ is that God has made peace by the blood of the cross and our response is a response of thanksgiving.  Paul writes to the church and says endure everything with patience while joyfully giving thanks to the Father.

There is an eternal circle that is a celebration of grace that takes nothing for granted, but in everything we give thanks.  This Thanksgiving we may recognize many challenges in our lives.  On Wednesday night our Thanksgiving Eve service will have a different feel as we lift up thanks in harder economic times, but the circle does not get broken when we endure hardships.  In fact, for Paul the circle of gratitude gets stronger because we recognize that whatever our circumstances the God of the universe is singing the songs of redemption to us, and it is a two way street of joy and thanksgiving that we share in the inheritance of the saints in the light.  So from the beginning to the end of this concert of life we say with joy, thank you!

In Gratitude,