Most often we place gratitude in with saying thank you, or simply being a polite person. We also use gratitude as a way of shaming others; “You should be thankful that you have food at all!” “There are starving people all over the world!” We can use gratitude to smooth over real world problems that need fixing and we can use it to not deal with our own valid feelings.
Maybe you have experienced gratitude as a tool of shame. Maybe gratitude has played a huge part in your healthy lifestyle. Gratitude at it's purest can recenter us, not because it stops you from feeling sorry for yourself, but because it connects you back to the giver of all things, Christ.
Real gratitude helps center us. Helps us reconnect with God and with each other. We receive far more than we give within our own lives, so how can we practice a grateful presence that will enrich our lives and others?
As we talk about Gratitude this month at New Hope, remind yourselves that the original break in the garden came from wanting to separate the gift from the source. How can you reconnect the gift of life to God? How can you reclaim your journey as one of deep gratitude that will spread to others?