Shine Light on a Dark World

Take a few moments to list ten things you are grateful for today.

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Shine Light on a Dark World

“Rejoice always. Pray continually. Give thanks in every situation because this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 (NIV)

Outside, the snow is not so much falling as swirling, driven in cloudlike, dancing sheets. The storm, predicted for days, gathers strength, after a slow but steady morning with an inch or two of accumulation and ordinary (for Chicago) winds. A foot or more of snow, combined with fierce winds, is supposed to fall in the next day or so.

School is already canceled for tomorrow, and my kids will be home soon, rejoicing that they have a snow day tomorrow. I’m thankful that I’ve got beef stew simmering in the Crock-Pot: dinner is not only taken care of, but also perfuming the house with a beef-and-garlic fragrance that’s wonderfully welcoming on this stormy afternoon

The Greek word translated “thanks” in this verse is eucharisteo, meaning to be grateful, to express gratitude. If the word looks familiar, it’s because we use it to describe the sacramental meal we also call communion, the Eucharist.

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In the Eucharist, we remember Jesus. We proclaim, in the words of the liturgy, His resurrection. In remembering His act of supreme love, how could we feel anything but grateful? And when we give thanks, when we are grateful, when we eucharisteo: do we not proclaim Christ’s presence in the world, do we not feast on the goodness of His presence with us? What if giving thanks is not merely a way to feel better, but a way to shine the light of Jesus in a dark world, to proclaim His resurrection?

As the snowstorm gathers strength, I’m grateful for the roof over our heads, for heat and light (which will hopefully stay on during the storm!), for food on the table, for my family gathered in safe, so many small blessings. In the midst of the storms of your life, what will you rejoice over, pray about and give thanks for?

Faith step: Take a few moments to list ten things you are grateful for today.

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