“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” Psalm 118:1
Have you ever had big decisions to make, big choices to be made? Maybe as an individual or maybe even as a congregation.
I remember when we started the church plant in Covina, California we spent about a year as a plant team in discernment before beginning our church plant. Linda Read gave each of the five plant team members a journal. She challenged us to keep a gratitude journal and write down a list of things we were grateful for. I remember my book quickly filled with a list of more than a thousand things we were grateful for. It was a great lead in to that period of discernment because it started us off by turning our hearts toward God. Searching for God’s always seems to turn out best for me when I begin by turning my heart toward God and centering myself in gratitude and awe.
The Greater Good Science Center tells us that:
“Over the past 15 years, hundreds of studies have documented the social, physical, and psychological benefits of gratitude. The research suggests these benefits are available to most anyone who practices gratitude, even in the midst of adversity, such as elderly people confronting death, women with breast cancer, and people coping with a chronic muscular disease.
- Gratitude brings us happiness.
- Gratitude reduces anxiety and stress.
- Gratitude is good for our bodies.
- Grateful people even sleep better, it promotes resilience, strengthens relationships, and even promotes forgiveness.”
In this season of Easter, it is useful to express our gratitude for the risen Christ. The joy, optimism and hope that the Risen Christ brings into our lives is truly something to be grateful for in all ways and in all days. As the day of Pentecost approaches, let us be exultant once again in our gratitude: Alleluia! Christ is Risen!