Gratitude

September 28, 2017

Tags: gratitude, cup of salvation, CROP walk

I’m full of gratitude last night and this morning. I felt so good yesterday evening after a day of work inside and outside – the whole afternoon in the yard, clearing brushy plants from the perimeter so we can blow leaves more easily into the woods. The air was cool and golden light shone through the leaves.

After dinner I sat on the patio, drinking tea and eating gingersnaps, watching clouds move overhead and dusk creep into the recesses of the yard. I went to sleep on a bed made for a queen with dark polished wood, curved posts, and intricate knobs. Pleasantly tired, I lay awake looking forward to the next day of rest and writing.

This morning Ed made us mushroom omelets with swiss cheese – and orange juice and fresh strawberries and good hot tea. I again felt like a queen. Though we call ourselves middle-class, we live like royalty used to – in a spacious home that is cool in the summer and warm in the winter, eating elaborate meals with fresh fruit from far places, having many choices of clothing in beautiful colors and fabrics. Many people of lesser means serve us – waitresses, store clerks, parking lot attendants, the young woman in a light blue uniform at the hospital wiping the fingerprints from the shiny glass stairwell.

“What shall I return to the Lord for all his bounty to me?” the psalmist asks in Psalm 116. “I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord.”

I want to lift up the cup of my life in gratitude, and pour it out so others may be blessed. One of the things I will do today is write a check so a student in Liberia has tuition for the year (an amount not much more than Ed and I spend for a nice dinner out.) I will resolve not to covet, enjoying what I have, remembering Jesus’ warning that “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” I will put what I have at his disposal – time, energy, goods – and work for a more just distribution of the world’s resources.

I’ll lace up my hiking boots and walk in the CROP walk for hunger this Sunday. I could call or write my representatives in Congress to say that everyone needs access to basic things – clean water and education and health care, to name a few. Americans like me, wealthy beyond the wildest dreams of our ancestors, need to share – not hoard – what we have. Guide me, O God, as I live in gratitude today.

Selected Works

Sermon Preparation
"I cannot imagine a more practical, attentive, useful, reliable, provocative, and thoughtful guide to the delightful play of detail and form in sermons than this volume." -- Thomas Long
Adult Study
This is a Lectionary-based Adult Bible study for Year B. Contributors: Terri S. Cofiell, David A. deSilva, Mary Jo Osterman, Vincent Harris, Denise Nutt-Beers, Sondra B. Willobee
This is a Lectionary-based Adult Bible study for Year B. Contributors include: David A. deSilva, John O. Gooch, M. Bass Mitchell, Denise Nutt-Beers, Mary Jo Osterman, Sondra B. Willobee
Devotionals
"Unique metaphors of faith permeate this collection of worship resources and personal reflections. Clergywomen share insights into their spiritual journey, declaring both the exquisite joy and palpable pain of ministry."--Nan Self
These prayers and meditations can be used for personal reflection or for devotions at a women's meeting.

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