O give thanks to the Lord for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever!
— Psalm 118:1
At just about every meeting or study group I’ve attended lately, someone has commented on how beautiful this fall has been. The vibrant colors of the leaves, the river and mountain vistas, the sunrises and sunsets have all outdone themselves this fall. How blessed we are to live in this part of the world where we can enjoy such autumnal splendor!
As we enjoy the beauty of God’s creation, we are reminded of our theme for this fall: The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it! Over the past weeks, we have reflected on just what it means that our world, our bodies and our lives, our money and possessions, our church and its mission, all belong not to us, but to the God who created it all, redeems it all, and sustains it all. The more we see and understand ourselves as small but integral parts of a much bigger divine design, the more we can keep our lives in a healthy perspective and align our priorities with God’s priorities. As we acknowledge and embrace our place in creation, we can more faithfully live into our calling to be faithful stewards of God’s many blessings.
Stewardship begins and ends in gratitude. As we revel in the beauty of God’s creation, as we breath deeply the crisp autumn air, we give thanks to God. This profound gratitude inspires us to be good stewards of the earth and the lives God has given us. So we strive to make faithful decisions about how we order our priorities, spend our time and money, participate in our church’s ministry and mission, and care for the environment around us. Everything we say and do becomes an offering of praise and thanksgiving to God.
This brings us right back to gratitude, gratitude to God and gratitude to you for your generosity. As we enter this month of thanksgiving, Chip and I want to say “thank you!” for the many ways you’ve engaged our theme this fall and offered gifts to God and the world:
Thank you for the many acts of love and service you’ve pledged on your leaves. What a vibrant testimony to the Spirit’s work among and through us!
Thank you for your offerings of time, talent and treasure which allow our vibrant ministry and mission to continue.
Thank you for your commitments and pledges to the financial health of our congregation in 2016. They allow us to plan for and grow into the future to which God is calling us.
We have so much to be thankful for! Gratitude inspires stewardship which inspires more gratitude. Let us continue to live, love and serve as grateful children and faithful stewards of God, our Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer!
See you in church,