Your Monday Meditation ... In everything give thanks!
By Rev. Dr. Emmette Weir
Our scripture reading, this bright Monday morning, come to us from the book of Psalms and the Epistle of St. Paul to the Thessalonians.
1. The LORD reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof.
2. Clouds and darkness are round about him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne.
3. A fire goeth before him, and burneth up his enemies round about.
4. His lightnings enlightened the world: the earth saw, and trembled.
5. The hills melted like wax at the presence of the LORD, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.
6. The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory.
7. Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols: worship him, all ye gods.
Psalm 97:1 - 7
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
"Down in the dumps?" Wallowing in self-pity and remorse because of some recent setback or challenge? Simply "fed up" with life and in dire need of a big dose of encouragement?
Then, you simply must hear and meditate profoundly upon the inspiring life story of sister Erin Brown! in case you have not heard about her, let me share with you the most encouraging story of her life.
Well, one evening, not long ago, I watched and listened, with rapt attention as popular media host Sawyer interviewed a feisty young lady. She was confidently seated in a wheel chair. In the course of that most interesting interview, she revealed that she was born in Nassau as a normal healthy child and grew up into early adulthood in this condition. Then, she became ill. Despite much treatment over a long period, her condition gradually deteriorated. Eventually, one of her legs had to be amputated!
It is most instructive to reflect upon how this brave young lady responded to this challenge!
Did she engage in self- pity about her condition?
Did she become bitter, wondering why did this happen to me?
Or did she simple give up and became a beggar depending upon hand-outs from others, as is often the case?
Answer: None of the above!
Not Erin Brown!
Instead of talking any of the defeatist approaches cited above, this courageous, enterprising Bahamian lady adopted a very positive, pro-active approach to her challenge. Yes, she acquired a wheelchair and a prosthetic leg, enabling her "to get around" very well, becoming nearly as mobile as before she lost a leg! But she did not stop there.
By no means: she engaged in various projects. Indeed she has established a foundation, whereby she raises and distributes funds and equipment for the benefit of others who are physically challenged. It has been truly said that such experiences make us either "bitter or better." Well, Erin Brown chose to let it make her "better."
Thus, throughout the interview, she "came across" as a confident, capable, productive, inspiring personality, motivated and sustained by a robust faith in god. Concisely, despite having suffered a major physical handicap, she lives in such a manner as to demonstrate thankfulness to god, and his son, Jesus the Christ.
Dear reader, there is much food for thought here, especially with regard to thanksgiving. These lessons are especially relevant. For, you see, the theme of thanksgiving is very much "in the air" these days. Just on Thursday, we joined our friends in the United States of America in celebrating "thanksgiving." And, in many of our congregation, harvest festival is observed as we join in thanksgiving to God for his goodness to us providing for our material and spiritual well being, and for the joy of human friendship and meaningful relationships. Yes, we are thankful to him for the provision of food, in the fridge, clothing on our backs and a roof over our head. We must thank god for these things, which we take for granted; for they are basic amenities which are lacked by millions of people "in the world today."
Then we must thank God for the extraordinary things and events which come our way. And we must share them with others that they may be encouraged. Have you been sick and recovered? Have you found work after many months being unemployed or under employed? Have you experienced a "financial breakthrough"? Then thank God and then "tell somebody"!
Finally, and most importantly, we must be thankful to God for the most precious gift of all- salvation. For at the heat of our Christian faith is the wonderful event known as the Incarnation- that God sent his divine son, Jesus the Christ to be our savior and lord. The gospel proclaims that all who believe in Christ receive salvation from sin and death. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life" (John3:16).
When we reflect upon the nature of divine love we can only be filled with gratitude to God. This is well summed up in the chorus:
"Thank you lord, for saving my soul
Thank you lord, for making me whole
Thank you lord for giving to me
Thy great salvation so full and free"
Or as St. Paul exhort us:
"Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift" II Cor. 9:15
All we have discussed thus far is certainly in line with the meditation upon our reading from the book of Psalms for "Black Friday" in "Christ in our Home". A powerful spiritual resource, published by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and distributed locally by Our Saviour Lutheran Church.
© 2011 The Freeport News