One of my favorite images from scripture is found in the first few verses of Philippians: “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”- Philippians 1:3-6
I love the image of the Apostle Paul, sitting in house arrest with guards stationed around him and yet there is a smile on his face as he begins to write a letter to the church in Philippi. The memories of his time and ministry with them was sweet and for a moment his current situation was of no great concern to him. He had a reason to be thankful and a reason for joy and even a reason to hope. It wasn’t just the memory of his time in Philippi which was a mixed bag of wonderful memories and some pretty harsh ones (being beaten and thrown in jail). His reason for thanks was their partnership in the gospel, these folks were held in his heart. You might say that Paul was counting his blessings.
Too often we give a wink and a nod to Thanksgiving. We know we should be thankful and we are but don’t ask us for much in the way of details. We are blessed and have so much, but maybe not as much as we would like, and not anywhere near as much as our neighbor down the street. We hurry through the thanks part so we can get into the turkey and on to the football game. So I’m suggesting we give a “reasoned thanks” this year. Slow down for a few minutes, think for a few minutes and come up with some reasons for your thankfulness. After that you can devour the turkey and fixin’s, then on to the game and the food induced coma we call a nap.
By the way, I’m thankful for ya’ll and our partnership in Carthage. Happy Thanksgiving!