Thanks a Bunch
I have two quotes to share with you. The first is one you’ve heard before, because I keep cramming it down your throat. And I’m unapologetic about it, because every time I read it, I find that I have forgotten it and that I’m in desperate need of a reminder. It comes from Brennan Manning:
I believe that the real difference in the American church is not between conservatives and liberals, fundamentalists and charismatics, nor between Republicans and Democrats. The real difference is between the aware and the unaware.
When somebody is aware of that love—the same love that the Father has for Jesus—that person is just spontaneously grateful. Cries of thankfulness become the dominant characteristic of the interior life, and the byproduct of gratitude is joy. We're not joyful and then become grateful—we're grateful, and that makes us joyful.
The second one is from columnist Peggy Noonan:
Here is something I began to feel after I had faith: the unexpected joy of living things. At some point, living things began to seem precious to me, and I wanted to pet them, hug them—babies and dogs and lizards, whatever. For me, the great fruit of belief is joy. There is a God, there is a purpose, there is a meaning to things, there are realities we cannot guess at, there is a big peace, you are part of it.
"God is good." Near him is where you want to be. There is something called everlasting happiness, and Saint Paul—a fiercely imperfect man who was a great man—was granted visions of it, and that great user of words was floored by it and said that no one can imagine how wonderful it is. The human imagination cannot encompass it.
This Sunday we’re going to read a passage from Paul’s letter to the Colossians that reminds us of something similar: Continuing to live our lives in Christ involves “overflowing with thankfulness.” I think this is largely a lost art among us Christians. And it’s sorely missing. My prayer is that we can be reminded of just how blessed we are that we can overflow with thankfulness.