Dear Friends,

Gratitude does not always come easily, especially when we are caught in the grip of anxiety. Nor does gratitude come suddenly. Gratitude comes through a slow turning away from worry by intentionally focussing on something, anything, for which to give thanks to God. In the midst of worry, that can be a real stretch. Jesus understood this. ‘Take simple, common things,’ Jesus says, ‘for which to give thanks: a bird, a flower, a blade of grass.’ Anything will do: a breath of air, a dog’s wag of tail, a smile, a glass of water. It is the small step of moving out of self, self, nothing but self, absorbed and hurting, to notice something or someone beyond the self that matters.

This small step leads to huge results. It leads to us beginning to understand what Jesus is trying to tell us: everything is God’s, and God is eagerly waiting to give us more and more – if only we would allow it. Jesus wants us to notice what is in front of us, to believe that God is present, and to be thankful. ‘Change the subject,’ Jesus admonishes. There is a lot of stuff in life we are powerless to change, but changing the subject is always in our power. ‘Look at the birds of the air, consider the lilies of the field.’ Jesus wasn’t being idealistic; he was being practical.

So, friends, people of God, let us practice gratitude, let us rejoice in thanksgiving – for light and life and love, for the gifts of the harvest which we celebrate today, for food, fellowship and friendship, for each other – and live as children of our loving God who loved us so much that he gave us himself in his Son our Saviour Jesus Christ and gives us himself through the gift of the Holy Spirit.

With love and prayers: Mo. Andi

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