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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Thursday, November 28, 2019  

Today’s Scripture Reading | Colossians 3:15–17                         

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (NRSV)

Today’s verses from the letter to the early church in Colossae are most timely on this day of Thanksgiving. As part of the author’s specific instructions on the living out of faith in Jesus Christ, we find these concise words. “And be thankful.”

Our Christian tradition echoes the call we share with American siblings of all faiths on this civic holiday. There is so much in our common life within this country for which we are grateful. Amidst all the chaos and disruption of our current national existence, gratitude helps us keep perspective.

Yet these words speak even more deeply to our primary trust in God, through Jesus. As I seek to stay in prayerful dialogue with the Holy One, gratitude is my conversational starting point. Giving thanks reminds me whose I am and how grace continues to uphold me and transform my life.

My efforts of personal prayer shape my leadership in worship at Fourth Presbyterian Church. When it comes to the Prayers of the People, I begin each time with thanksgiving, which opens up the prayerful conversation we share together in this vital portion of Sunday worship. Grateful for all the ways God has graced us, individually and collectively, we are then led to intercede for the world and all God’s people in particular need, as well as for friends, family, and ourselves. Thanks be to God!

Gracious Donor of our days, I am grateful for your overflowing love that nourishes my life and our common life as well. Renew my thankfulness for all the outpourings of your grace upon your creation and in my experience, through Jesus, our brother and our Savior. Amen.

Written by Jeffrey Doane, Parish Associate for Older Adults

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