In our kitchen we have a sign on the wall that says, “Gratitude Is the Best Attitude.” Similarly, my wife has a sign in her office that says, “Gratitude Changes Attitude.” So often the devil tempts us only to look at the things we think are wrong around us in our lives. That attitude can only produce sorrow, bitterness, and resentment. That is the attitude the devil would like all of us to have.
Our Heavenly Father, wants us, instead of lamenting and fussing over all that we think is bad, to have an attitude of gratitude that praises Him in all things and is glad and sings for joy. How can we do this in the midst of all these things that are not as we would like them to be? We remember that our God is the One Who is in control. He loves us! And He promises to work all things for our good even (and sometimes, especially) the things that are not as we would like them to be.
So how is it even possible for us sinful human beings to be grateful and praise God in the midst of things that are not as we would like them to be? As Jesus answered His disciples, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God” (Mark 10:27). In other words, it takes God-given faith to produce in us the attitude of gratitude. As Paul reminds us in Romans 10:17, “So faith comes by hearing, and hearing through the Word of Christ.”
During the month of November, we will be provided with many faith-producing and faith-strengthening opportunities to give us the right attitude starting with Sunday November 2nd. On this day we will celebrate All Saints Day. We give thanks for all the believers who have gone before us and have, by their lives, taught us how to live as children of God. We will acknowledge all of those who have entered glory this past year from this congregation. The Gospel reading for the day, Matthew 5:1-12 names the many blessings received by the children of God in Christ. We can rejoice and be glad even in persecution because, in Christ, the kingdom of God is ours.
On November 11th, our being grateful continues as we examine the theme of giving. The Gospel reading is Mark 12:38-44, as we see a poor widow giving all she had to the work of the Lord. How fitting that it is also Veteran’s Day. Our gratitude will continue towards those who gave all they did to be God’s instruments in seeing to it that we have the blessings God provides in this country. We will take time to acknowledge and give thanks to and for our veterans in our congregation through whom God has worked to provide these blessings.
On November 18th and 25th, the Last two Sundays of the Church year, Jesus tells about the End of Time. Even with some of the scary things that will take place, we are grateful – first, that Jesus is giving us a “heads up” on what will happen, and second, that we don’t have to be afraid or worried or sad, because that end of time will be for us who are God’s own in Christ, the very beginning of the time of all things being completed for us to rejoice in the eternal bliss of heaven forever.
In between the warnings of The End, we have the opportunity to keep our emphasis on gratitude with our Thanksgiving Eve Service, Wednesday, November 21st, at 7pm. We praise God and sing for joy in gratitude for the countless blessings He so graciously showers upon us!
And there is more! Our midweek Advent services begin on Wednesday, November 28th at 7pm. These brief services of the Word which will include some great Advent hymns will give you the opportunity to keep the attitude of gratitude going throughout the week. This year’s theme is “God with Us.” Each Wednesday we will explore a different way God comes to be with us to bless us and direct us. On the 28th, it will be, “God with Us as Our Potter.”
This is going to be a great November! Looking forward to seeing you at these faith building opportunities to produce in us attitudes that show gratitude in all things, knowing that God is with us and to bless us in all things for our good.