Thankfulness Transforms: a Reflection on Psalm 105:1-22, Genesis 32:22-33:17, 1 John 3:1-10 and John
How thankful am I? How thankful are you? According to the psalmist, thankfulness is to be a dominant form of expression coming from those who love the LORD. I am finicky, particular, judgmental, selfish and demanding to name a few of my shortcomings. Those characteristics do not exude thankfulness. Lovers of God are to be thankful, because his judgments are certain and his covenant everlasting. God promised to form a people to be a blessing to all people. Jacob wrestled with God and God changed his name to Israel which became the name of the people. God honored then and continues to honor now his covenant. The LORD is committed to a covenant people who are thankful…who will be a blessing…who will by God’s grace transform the world. There is much at stake through our being thankful. Thankfulness shocks people, because we see and experience it so little. John tells us in his first letter that if our hope is in Jesus, we will become pure like him. So, I do not have to be perfect to begin following Jesus. I do not have to be pure to begin following Jesus. All I need to do is recognize that longing to be loved unconditionally and simply respond to God’s convicting, challenging and reassuring love…to say yes to Jesus. Jesus’ works ticked off the religious leaders of his day. Why? Jesus’ ministry actually accomplished something. People’s lives changed. In their brokenness, people found God putting the pieces back together. Oh how I yearn for my ministry and the ministry of the Church/church to be more like Jesus’. I want to see lives changed, transformed and reconciled with the just and loving Father. Don’t you?
Scripture texts are taken from the two-year daily lectionary cycle which follows the liturgical calendar and begins on the First Sunday of Advent.