As I woke up this morning, not much was different. The virus numbers continue to go up, the economic reports are predicable but still very startling and discontent seems to dominate whatever conversations might be occurring.  Yet, somewhere and somehow in my quiet time, I remembered the words of Viktor Frankl, the Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor, who said: “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response.” Somewhere in the space of the beginning of this day, I remembered that I have the power to choose my response. Today I decided to choose gratitude.  Being grateful framed my day. Anyone can choose to respond with gratitude. You don’t need my permission and no external stimuli can inhibit giving thanks. I can still be grateful in the midst of this health crisis. In all the uncertainty, with all the competing and clamoring voices, with a constant concern for those I love, the space invites me to choose gratitude.

Okay, I realize that you may be thinking that this is a coping mechanism in which I can deny the impacts and effects of COVID19.  Believe me, I have other habits to help me cope. I choose gratitude because it helps me see and experience my life, our lives together, as well as God’s intention for creation. Gratitude makes my heart stronger and invites me into a greater goodness and a deeper love. Kristi Nelson writes: “Like other forms of practice, gratefulness makes us more resilient and flexible, and so offers a way to frame and learn from everything that unfolds in our lives.” Being grateful helps us to be more faithful in the “living of these and all days”.

Let gratitude be your first thought.

Scripture Reading:  Philippians 4:4-9
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

Reflection Questions:
What supplications are you giving to God?
How are you practicing gratitude in these uncertain days?
Who taught you to live Christ-like?

Prayer:
Holy God, let me be less anxious, trusting you to hear my prayers of supplication and filling me with peace.  Help me to keep doing the things that I have been taught about faithfulness.  Breathe on me and let gratitude be in my thoughts and actions. Amen

Announcements

Sunday we will start livingstreaming 15 minutes before the service which begins at 9:45 a.m.  Music will fill this time in preparation for Worship.

Take a picture of yourself worshiping at home and email it to us. We would like to share with our Pine Shores family.

Wednesday Evening Prayer Service via livestream begins at 6:45 p.m. and lasts between 15 and 20 minutes.

Send prayer requests to karen@pineshorespres.org.

 

To view previous readings click HERE