Monday, November 5, 2012

Gratitude Project

My facebook page has been riddled with posts of gratitude from friends and family.  It is the month of November and the gratitude project has taken hold.  Each day people from all over share one thing that they are grateful for on that particular day. 

Blessings abound.  Gratitude overflowing.  God always present. 

I smile each time I scroll down the newsfeed and am reminded of my blessings from the lists and stories of friends.  On those days when I feel less than grateful for all the mishaps and stress in my life, a simple word or sentence reminds me I am blessed.  There are days that I wallow in my own self-doubt and insecurities; those days where waking up just a few minutes late sets the tone for a day of harried experiences; the confrontational email or phone call; the long lists of to-dos; the illness of a friend.  I need the words of all God's people sharing their joys and gratitude; somehow these joys and gratitude become my own. 

Blessings abound.   Gratitude overflowing.   God always present.  

This past Sunday we celebrated All Saints Sunday.  A member of the congregation created a work of art with his hands and heart and faithfulness to be first experienced on this moving day.  At the beginning of worship, the cedar-wood cross was lit with votive candles positioned in the front of the altar.  Following the hymn of the day people were invited forward to light a candle in honor of a loved one.  Coming forward they were invited to share God's light, to feel God's light, and to know that they too were a part of the light of Christ.    

Blessings abound. Gratitude overflowing. God always present. 

One by one the candles were lit and the sanctuary illuminated.  One by one the joys and sorrows and gratitude of a community was lifted up.  One by one the communion of saints surrounded us.  One by one, one candle after another, we were reminded that the light cannot be overcome. 

At the communion rail, the community knelt and shared prayers and gratitude before the glowing cross.  I saw the faces of those who faithfully come to worship week after week, along with the faces of those who are unable to attend.  I saw the faces of those we buried this year together.  And the faces of those who continue to go unnamed.  I saw the faces of a community in need of God's light.  I saw a community of saints and sinners, a community of God's people, and I was grateful. 

I haven't taken up the task of sharing my daily gratitude, but if I did, I surely would have included the gift of the cross this day.  The gift of light.  The gift of the saints.     

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