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The Way of Gratefulness

10/14/2018 – 11/18/2018

If gratitude is so good, why is it so hard to do? This sermon series is based on the Diana Butler Bass’ latest book, Grateful: The Transformative Power of Giving Thanks. In the prologue she writes, “This book is an invitation to become aware of gratitude in new ways, with the hope that if we see more clearly what is at stake, we might together nurture, encourage, and practice the sort of gratefulness that can change our hearts and communities.” Join us as we eagerly seek to experience the journey to a more grateful life.

October 14 – Everything is a Gift – Psalm 136, James 1:17
October 21 – Saying Thank You – Psalm 95:1-2, Luke 17:11-19
November 4 – Ripples of Joy – Mark 14:22-25, Acts 2:43-47
November 11 – Blessing Everyone – Matthew 5:1-12
November 18 – Making All Things New – Luke 19:1-10, Colossians 2:6-7

making all things new

Making All Things New

Gratitude awakes us to a new sense of who we are individually and in community. It gives us a new story; we are all beneficiaries and in turn we are all benefactors to each other. Gratitude calls us to sit together and imagine the world as a table of hospitality. Gratitude makes all things new. (Luke 19:1-10, Colossians 2:6-7)

blessing everyone

Blessing Everyone

Individual gratefulness is a disposition that can be chosen and cultivated in a way that manifests itself as actions, where each choice leads to more gratitude and a spiral of appreciation. So too, communal gratefulness and joy as we celebrate together, can also manifest itself as actions. Once you have empathy for others and a shared thankfulness, there is a realization that we cannot be quiet in the face of injustice. And so, gratitude becomes the actions of protest and resistance. (Matthew 5:1-12)

ripples of joy

Ripples of Joy

Gratitude is social. It takes us outside of ourselves. What do you do when something good has happened to you? You tell others! You go home and tell your family, pick up the phone to call a friend, or post on social media. And they celebrate with you. We do that every week at prayer time as we share our joys with one another. And if it is a big milestone, we mark it with a party or a public ceremony. (Mark 14:22-25, Acts 2:43-47)

saying thank you

Saying Thank You

The emotions of gratitude sneak up on us as an unplanned response. But what happens if you are the one who is not overwhelmed with gratefulness. How do we experience gratitude when our feelings are elusive? Perhaps the answer lies in defining gratitude as not just what we feel, but also as what we say and do. Then those actions and habits and practices of gratefulness can begin to change us. (Psalm 95:1-2, Luke 17:11-19)

everything is a gift

Everything is a Gift

Who likes writing thank-you notes? Who finds it a chore? How often do you give a gift and not receive a thank you note? As I write this sermon, I have just remembered a note that I intended to write this week and failed to do. There is a disconnect sometimes between the gratitude we feel and how we act. (Psalm 136:1-9,26, James 1:17)