I want to thank everyone who is a part of this church for the wonderful way you support all the pastors on staff at Grace. I am so blessed to be part of a congregation that understands the difficulties the job of pastor entails and is willing to say thank you in so many different ways. I know we all especially appreciate your prayers even more now that we are entering into a time of transition.
So, I am grateful to be preaching this Sunday, the Sunday before Thanksgiving, a day we have set aside to remember all we have to be thankful for in our lives. I do think it is too bad that we have only set one day throughout an entire year for “Thanks” giving. I can’t help but wonder why only one day as this is something we should do every single day.
When our children try a food at the dinner table they have never seen before: “I appreciate that you tried this new food. I can see you don’t like it and you don’t need to eat any more but thank your for trying it.” When our spouse helps us out around the house when we are super busy, “I appreciate that you stepped up and cleaned the bathrooms. It was a big help to me. Thank you.” Or when our teenager grumbles and complains as they clean their room, “I appreciate that you cleaned your room today like I asked, I know it wasn’t something you wanted to do, but you did it. Thank you.”
You know we could get caught up in the fact that they should eat what is fixed. Our spouse should help out around the house, they live in it too, or our teens should do what we as their parents ask…BUT there is nothing wrong with letting someone know that you appreciate what they have done, or tried, or attempted. Even if they grumbled, complained, or made faces as they did what was being asked of them. Appreciation can change people. Growing up I heard the idiom: “you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar,” more times than I can count. But it is true. People respond to appreciation better than anything else.
Our scripture lesson for Sunday underscores this very principle. Psalm 65 is a psalm of praise as the psalmist sings his praises to God for all God has done throughout the world. In all places and in all spaces, God has showered God’s abundant blessings on creation. And then in Luke 17:11–19 we have the story of the ten lepers that illustrates how we do not show our appreciation as we should. I encourage you to read these passages before Sunday and then join us for worship as we look at the power of appreciation.
See you in church!