Oh give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his steadfast love endures forever.
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
whom he has redeemed from trouble, and gathered in lands,
from the east and from the west,
from the north and from the south.
— Psalm 107:1-3
Maintaining a sense of gratitude is hard these days. The messages we receive from the advertising world are tuned to make us consume, desire, and want “more.”
It is hard to live in gratitude when you are pressed to want more.
The messages sent from the political sphere are similarly degrading of our gratitude. Promised tax cuts, but look more closely and you see your few dollars right now are set to expire while the wealthy’s breaks are permanent.
Oh give thanks, for the economy is booming…. for those who have much. And, to whom much is given, much more will be acquired, rather than required.
It is hard to live in gratitude when comparison is the message and the norm.
I recently ran across a web site that will calculate where you stand in the realm of global wealth. I plugged in my salary and discovered where I sit in the realm of the richest people on the planet. Here is the link, go ahead and do it for yourself.
Now, how do you feel about where you find yourself?
Wanting to justify or clarify?
The Psalmist is incredibly inclusive. He/She encourages everyone to be included in the expression of gratitude. All those who have discovered God from the four directions, all who are the “redeemed.”
But there is one thing more that those “redeemed” are to do rather than just basque in that goodness.
It is hard to live in gratitude without sharing. Even if you know about the “steadfast Love of the Lord that endures forever” personally, it is not enough to keep you grateful.
The redeemed must “say so” the Psalmist says.
Those who are aware of how blessed they are must speak of their blessing and of God.
Because so much of the messaging of the world is designed to strip a sense of thankfulness and gratefulness away from us. We need to hear it again and again, from those around us, to dwell in a sense of gratitude.
So, as we lead up to Thanksgiving here, and engage in our “As You Have Been Blessed” Stewardship emphasis, my encouragement to you as your pastor is to speak of God’s goodness.
Tell others those things for which you are grateful.
Be a voice in the wilderness of the messages of “not enough” and “watch out” and “be afraid of”, and affirm instead a view of abundance as you have experienced it.
Join the psalmist in reminding all whom you meet of God’s steadfast love.
That is what endures forever.
That is what will last.
That is what will bring peace and satisfaction to a hungering world.