And now bless the God of all,
who everywhere works great wonders,
who fosters our growth from birth,
and deals with us according to his mercy.
May he give us gladness of heart,
and may there be peace in our days
in Israel, as in the days of old.
May he entrust to us his mercy,
and may he deliver us in our days!
Every day I will bless you,
and praise your name forever and ever.
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
his greatness is unsearchable.
One generation shall laud your works to another,
and shall declare your mighty acts.
On the glorious splendor of your majesty,
and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
The might of your awesome deeds shall be proclaimed,
and I will declare your greatness.
They shall celebrate the fame of your abundant goodness,
and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.
The Lord is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
The Lord is good to all,
and his compassion is over all that he has made.
All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord,
and all your faithful shall bless you.
They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom,
and tell of your power,
1 Corinthians 1:3-9
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind— just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you— so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, they called out, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were made clean. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.”
Have you ever participated in the Thanksgiving tradition of going around the dinner table and saying something you were particularly grateful for that year? As it happens, every single person, no matter how difficult or trying their past year has been, still has something they are grateful for. The very fact that we are alive gives us God's most precious gift to us to be thankful for. As we see in the Thanksgiving day tradition, gratitude is not a feeling, but a choice. In fact, Thanksgiving was only instituted as a national holiday in our country's most trying times. It is in the middle of the hardest times when gratitude is the most important for us. Giving thanks is not so much a benefit to the person who does the giving, but is healing for the person who expresses gratitude. It changes us from thinking of ourselves to thinking of others. It turns us from enumerating our woes to enumerating our blessing. It keeps us from spiraling downward emotionally to forcing us to look up and keep our eyes on God. Thanksgiving in and of itself is a gift to us, and one that we can include in our list of blessings.
Tonight, when you lay down to go to sleep, calm your mind by counting your blessings. Start with the littlest most basic things that you are grateful for: a warm bed to sleep in, a roof over your head, food to eat that day. Then go on through the little moments that happened in your day that made you happy. It could be the littlest moment: the fact that the turkey came out of the oven easily, or anything that made you smile. You will notice that the more things you list, the more things you think of that you are grateful for. The exercise will leave you feeling peaceful and is the most perfect way to end today and every day.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for giving me life. Thank you for the family you have given me and all the people you have blessed me with. Thank you for all your good gifts, which I will never be able to count. Help me to remain grateful at all times, in all circumstances, and in so doing continue to grow closer to you. Amen.