Not only with our lips, but in our lives
Were someone to give you a gift of great worth, wouldn’t you immediately show your gratitude? What if every moment of every day, you were provided a gift of great worth? How would you express your thanks? Or would the receiving become so routine, that appreciation disappeared along with awareness of the magnitude of the gift?
That’s pretty much the human condition. We are so conditioned to God’s moment-by-moment largesse, his excruciatingly gracious provision, that we often neglect to show thanks adequately. Perhaps we do not feel that we can offer adequate thanks. Or, the marketplace so stridently proclaims that we always need more, that we don’t recognize that God provides all that we need.
And it is not God who suffers from our oversight. It is we who suffer as we miss the joyful acknowledgment of God’s fulfilling our needs. We do not know we are fulfilled because the marketplace so loudly and incessantly insists that we cannot be fulfilled. Yet, we can claim our joy by giving and by acknowledging God’s gifting.
The General Thanksgiving, on page 101 of the Book of Common Prayer, offers: “And we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies, that with truly and thankful hearts we may show forth your praise, not only with our lips but in our lives” What a seemingly odd thing to pray for. But, it affirms the understanding that we easily forget how greatly God provides for us.
Consider some very basic things: the air you breathe, sunlight, the water you drink. Those alone are worthy of unending thanksgiving and praise. Yet they are so constant and so abundant that we tend to not recognize them, along with many other things, as gifts from God.
Here’s a thought to add some meaning to your Thanksgiving Day and to experience some of the joy of recognizing how richly God has graced you. Set aside sometime this Thanksgiving Day to meditate on the General Thanksgiving and the Litany of Thanksgiving, both on page 836 of the Book of Common Prayer. Together, they provide a wonderful inventory of God’s gracious provision. Consider how great the love that provides such abundance. And then consider, how you will respond… not only with your lips but in your life?