Really enjoyed being at the first “open to all” service of St Mungo’s, Livingston, yesterday. This has been a venture that has been prayed over and thought about for many years and the blessing of God was manifestly upon it.
Before I went to the service I had been praying for it. I found myself singing to myself, “ I will enter His gates with thanksgiving in my heart, I will enter his courts with praise.” Many of you will know that is a song that comes from the early heady days of Charismatic Renewal. It would be considered rather old fashioned now. As I thought about the song, I was thinking, “Surely we are not going to sing that this morning?” Well, we didn’t, but we did say it! We said it together through a corporate reading of part of Psalm 100 in good Episcopalian style!
Thanksgiving is a powerful thing. I have said that several times in the course of these blogs, but it is worth repeating: imagine if every Sunday when we crossed the church threshold we said an inward prayer, (or for that matter an outward exclamation for everyone to hear!) thanking God for the church we belong to, for the gathering of people that I am part of, for a place where God’s Name is praised, His Word preached, His cross honoured, and His compassion and love extended to all. I felt I was part of such a gathering yesterday, and as one who sits in the pews now on Sundays, I was immensely grateful. I have made the decision however to be grateful on the way in next time, rather than wait and see what happens before I decide whether I will be grateful or not!
I don’t know what may be happening in your life right now, but if it does not seem too insensitive to suggest this, is there something you can be thankful for? If you have read this blog then you could start with thanking God for eyes to see, a mind to understand, wealth enough to have a phone or a computer to view this on; many in the world are lacking one or more or all of these things. I don’t mean to instil any guilt when I say that, nor do I want to sound as though I am minimising any darkness you may be going through, and may have been going through long term. I just hope you may find thankfulness is a powerful thing, and the practice of thankfulness is a helpful one to develop.
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