Giving Thanks & Wrapping up Wisdom

On Sunday last, we gathered round the table.  It was Veteran’s Day — though a prayer offered for the day & thanks for the service people have rendered would come later in our collective worship.  It was light out (brightly — thanks to the gift of daylight savings of course!) and the coffee (regular & decaf) was piping hot.  We opened with prayer, asking that God would be gracious enough to show up in the reading of God’s Word & in the sharing of our own thoughts and experiences.

Then we began in the check-in.  The sharing of the homework assignment we had lived with the week prior.  It had been a choose-your-own-adventure type of assignment with three options:

  • summarize the entire book of Proverbs (a cliff notes version if you will)
  • create a Proverb that is missing
  • put into your own language/words a Proverb that already exists

Now some folks didn’t have the opportunity to do the homework, some were a little intimidated to try and use their voice to in some way improve upon the Word of God we have (we of course are not trying really to add any verses or chapters to the Bible…at least not right now :)!!), and at least one shared they enjoyed the homework & wished they had done all 3 of the options.  No fear y’all — you can always revisit these “assignments” as they are documented here and if the Holy Spirit is moving or tugging on you …well the best advice I think any could offer would be to heed the voice of God (even if scary & hard!).

And others did spend some time trying to find the words for any of the 3 options.  One essentially shared a summary of what the book of Proverbs is, a guide for living.  Another offered an interpretation of the golden rule with instead of “do unto others…” saying BE to others who you would have them BE to you — placing the emphasis that what we do is really who we become.  Someone offered an elaboration on disciplining children adding more emphasis to not do so in anger but to address the child with compassion.  We spoke on not judging others (taking time to delineate the difference between judging an action/behavior as compared with judging a person (including their motivations) and named that we do not know people’s heart, nor are we God (the ultimate judge).  *This is something to give God praise about!!!*  We also spoke to how God is so good to be revealed in all of creation — something we are invited to delight & be awed about!  And how nothing is too difficult for God (to use to reveal Godself & God’s glory to us!).  A comment made near the end was an invitation to hear (or add) in/to Proverbs the challenge & expectation to “be kind.”

Following this delightful conversation we turned to scripture, specifically Psalm 100:

Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth!  Serve the LORD with gladness!  Come into his presence with singing!  Know that the LORD, he is God!  It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.  Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise!  Give thanks to him; bless his name!  For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.  (English Standard Version)

We listened.  And we noticed too how vastly different different translations can be & took the time to quickly name how different denominations have different books in the Bible (canon).  {for more info on this check THIS LINK OUT}  And after silence we shared what the Holy Spirit was lifting.  Noticing the word “worship” in some translations & “serve” in others — noting that our service, our serving — can (& is) worship (this too by the way is-or can be- true in our work & career — it doesn’t just mean what we do in/for church).  Being excited that the invitation is to make a JOYFUL noise & that this glorifies God — that this joyful noise is what we are to offer!  We talked too about both the comfort in the promise that the steadfast love of God is not only good but endures forever to all generations — and wondered about our role in this passing along of God’s good and steadfast love.

And before taking a turn that would open such a rich discussion, we turned (well I turned us!) to the homework for this week (& next) — to be daily taking the time to notice what we are thankful or grateful for.  This might be just one thing.  Or it might be many things.  BUT — we are to either journal, type, think, speak (or some combination of these) at least one thing daily that we are grateful/thankful for.  AND give God praise — give God thanks — for this (what we are thankful for).  I’m pretty excited to see what happens, what is noticed & I can’t wait until the next time we gather (which will be Nov. 25th!!! — don’t forget this coming Sunday we will gather @ 10:30AM at the Spencer Federated Church for worship followed by a dish to pass!)

Blessings in Christ y’all ~
Rev. Sabrina Slater

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *