December 30, 2016

I am really looking forward to 2017! There is so much possibility, a blank slate awaiting us with every new year.  At St. Luke’s, we are calling 2017, “The Year of Gratitude!”  Gratitude opens the door for  a new beginning.  Even if you are at rock bottom when you start 2017, I believe it is through gratitude that you find a new future, a new beginning.

Just three things I’d like to share about gratitude.

First, when you and I experience the gift of God’s grace, we know what it means to be loved, forgiven and accepted. When you experience God’s grace, you become grateful and when you are grateful,  you begin to trust in God’s constant good will towards you, his child.  That’s the definition of faith, really, to trust in God’s constant good will towards you, his child.  When you live out of a spirit of gratitude, you’re able to grow in your trust and faith in God.

Secondly, it’s easy to understand that silent gratitude or gratitude that goes unspoken isn’t much use to anyone.  How many of us last year have felt grateful?  How many times have we felt grateful to God? How many times have we felt grateful to someone else who has blessed us in a way we never would have expected and we felt gratitude, but we never did anything about it?

And third, gratitude allows you to look at life differently.  You will see people differently, you will see your circumstances differently.  Because you’ve come back to say thanks.  I don’t know where you find yourself when you start 2017, in your relationships, professionally, financially.  But I am sure that wherever you find yourself, it is by living out of a spirit of gratitude that you begin to have the door that opens to a new beginning.  The key to a bright future for those who live out of gratitude, are people who grow in faith. Until you can be grateful for what you have, you will never receive what matters.  January 1 marks the beginning of a journey for the next year, where we will discover, the power of gratitude!