And Be Thankful

Life Notes—August 30, 2012 

“As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.  Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other, just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.  Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.  And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body.  And be thankful.”  Colossians 3:12-15 

When I was a child spending the night at a friend’s house, my mother would be full of instructions and reminders. “Now, Greg, don’t forget to chew with your mouth closed, and make sure you eat everything on your plate!  Do you have clean clothes for tomorrow?”  I would be headed for the door.  “Don’t forget your toothbrush.”  “Yes mother,” I would say as I headed back to the bathroom.  “Do you have money in case they take you out for ice cream?”  When I finally made it out the door and down the steps her final plea would be, “And don’t forget to say ‘Thank you!’” 

The above exhortation by the writer of Colossians, likely an associate of Paul’s, reminds me of instructions from my mother.  “Don’t forget, young Christian, you have been chosen and are holy and beloved.”  (Yes, sir, I won’t forget.)  “Remember compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience!”  (Oh yes, I could never forget those.)  “Forgive those with a complaint against you!”  (Must I really?)  And as I turn to leave, “Remember love binds everything together in perfect harmony.”  (Ya think?)  “And let peace rule in your heart.”  Finally, as I am nearly out of sight, “And be thankful!” 

Being thankful to someone outside ourselves is a fundamental instruction for everything we do.  No doubt that is why expressing thankfulness is the last instruction we generally receive.  In every action and every situation and every environment, no matter how unpleasant it may seem, there is always reason to be thankful.  And it is always helpful in every situation to recall something to be thankful for, even if that something seems far distant at the time.  A positive attitude, a joyful heart, contentment and peace all grow out of an attitude of thankfulness and appreciation.  It is one of the ways we acknowledge we are not alone, because there is always someone to thank for something—a parent, a friend, a spouse, a Savior.  And when we acknowledge we are never alone, we do not get so lonely and are reminded we never face our challenges by ourselves. 

Tom begins a sermon series on the book of James downtown this Sunday, where Life worship is at 10:00 AM in Brady Hall, traditional worship is at 8:30 and 11:00.  Reverend Eduardo Bousson, campus minister at WashburnUniversity, will preach at the west campus, where contemporary worship is at 9:00 and 11:00. 

Come home to church this Sunday.  And remember to be thankful…

Greg Hildenbrand, Life Music Coordinator

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