Gratitude, as we know, isn’t simply an emotion that happens to arise at times. It is an act of the will, an intentional resolve to have a good attitude, an effort to notice easily overlooked blessings.
Teaching this past semester, in a bold and unprecedented move in a low church direction, I have opened class not with a carefully chosen collect, but with an invitation for students to voice spontaneously their petitions of praise, or lament, or thanksgiving. (After a few runs, though, the liturgist in me took over and I posted the format to begin the petition and wording of the communal response so it could become a properly organized litany.)
I have been struck by the depth of the students’ offerings. Working from memory, I’m jotting down some things I’ve heard. Please add to this list in the commbox. We’ll take care of moving your petitions up into the post. What are you thankful for?
I give thanks for…
- doctors, health care works, and scientists developing vaccines.
- modern technology that makes it possible for us to worship together online.
- online and distance learning possibilities.
- the gift of making music.
- the gift of studying and learning music.
- community members who pray for and support those who are ill.
- beautiful fall weather.
- all the love and compassion that is being spread around. I’ve always known I have a great support system, but this year has made me really appreciate my family and friends even more. (MN)
- all of creation and its cosmic hymn of praise, always sounding, always there, even (or: especially?) when church doors must remain closed. (TB)
- the opportunity to take a sabbath, read a lot, and for the turning of the year which draws us into a movement not of our own making. (LL)
- the gift of grace – both received and given. (AD)
- the amazing ability to connect with people states away for virtual lunch or coffee (why did this never occur to us before?). (KH)
- phone calls with our neighbors, checking in on how they’re doing. (KH)
- a forced familial bubble which has afforded my children an abundance of quality time with their grandparents. (KH)
- home and food, for strangers who bond over shared hardships, and friends who hold us up in the midst of them, for leaders who rose to the unique challenges of this time with elan. (RF)
… We give you thanks, O God.
The featured image Thanksgiving face mask is from this site.