I hope you’ve had a great week to give thanks. Last week’s message has helped focus me on opportunities to give thanks. I’ve written a couple notes to thank people for how God has used them in my life and in the lives of others. Of course, just one week ago we were giving thanks for the wonderful nation we live in. As we learned last Sunday, a life of gratitude changes us and moves us to engaging in the mission God has for us that they might be grateful to God as well.
Tomorrow we’re going to look at what cultivating a sense of awe can do to our prayer lives. So we’re shifting from giving thanks to being awestruck. There’s a distinction many make – and it’s legitimate – between giving thanks and praising or worshiping God’s character. One is about what He has done and the other is praising Him for who He is. Both are vital and knowing the distinction is good, but not necessary.
CS Lewis, as he often does, gives some good insight into how thanks and adoration work together:
I have tried to make every pleasure into a channel of adoration. I don’t mean simply by giving thanks for it. One must of course give thanks, but I meant something different… Gratitude exclaims, very properly, ‘How good of God to give me this.’ Adoration says, ‘What must be the quality of that Being whose far-off and momentary coruscations are like this!’ One’s mind runs back up the sunbeam to the sun.” –Reflections in a Toolshed, Letters to Malcolm
So, keep giving thanks, but tomorrow we’re going to follow the sunbeam up and ask, “What must be the quality of that Being!?” I hope you’ll be there. We have some fun changes afoot for tomorrow!
See you in the morning,
- We’d love to have a baptism later this summer some time. Let me know if you’re interested in baptism!