Church Message: Gratitude and Thanksgiving

By Nina Brown, member of Third Church of Christ, Scientist

One day last week I was feeling a little low and came home to find a bag of homemade chocolate chip cookies in my mailbox. I was grateful for such a kind gesture from a neighbor and felt happier. Another day I went into work and found a card from a dear friend on my desk. Again, I was grateful and began my day reflecting on the impact of gratitude and its importance in my life.

Often, when I think of gratitude, I think of something Mary Baker Eddy wrote in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: “Are we really grateful for the good already received?”  I certainly was grateful for the acts of kindness shown to me by my neighbor and by my friend, but I realized that I should be more aware and grateful for the good that is happening every day.  A recognition of daily good got me asking myself, how often do fellow commuters wave me into the stream of traffic?  How often do people smile and ask how I am doing? How often do I enjoy a walk outdoors? How often do I enjoy laughter with my grandchildren?

I thought a little further and realized it wasn’t these things alone that made me grateful, but it was the love and joy these things expressed. And, if love is being expressed during these moments of selfless actions, isn’t love really being expressed all the time? Jesus’ disciple John wrote “God is love…” (1 John 4:16). So, I see that God is the ever-present source of this love. And I can be grateful every day – all day – knowing that love is being expressed all around me all the time. And not only to me, but by me.

During this Thanksgiving season I am grateful to realize that love fills our days and all I have to do is look around to see it.