Come, Thankful People, Come
I had the opportunity yesterday to visit my Toronto home church. It was truly a cross-cultural experience. Over the forty years I've been associated with the church, the colour of its' congregation has changed. Added to that, the guest preacher yesterday was a man from Grenada, a convert of one of the members of the Toronto church. He preached a fiery sermon which gave rise throughout to hearty "amens," hallelujahs," and "preach it, brother" expressions, not to mention applause.
Since this is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada the message was appropriate to the subject. Though I was an unexpected visitor the pastor squeezed me into the program and gave me a few moments to share during the service. Since the congregation had just finished expressing some of the things it was thankful for, I added my bit of praise by reminding them of Paul's words when I said how much I thanked God for every remembrance of them. Over all these years they have been a special part of my life and ministry.
Despite the circumstances that we face in our "day-to-day" there are always things to be thankful for. As I read this morning's verses I was reminded that in the midst of our prayers, so often a "gimme" list, we often forget to include the essential ingredient of thanksgiving to God for all that He is and for all that He has already given.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus" —Philippians 4:6, 7.
I suspect that being thankful plays a large part in sensing God's peace in the midst of our circumstances. It can't be anything but reassuring when we remember the faithfulness of God in the past. He hasn't changed. Just as He was faithful yesterday He will be faithful today.
Thank you, Lord.