Gratitude is quite popular as a concept in our time. Many books are written. Culture treats the idea like it is new.
It is not.
Our biblical witness has reminded us for more than two thousand years that all we have belongs to God. God’s love and grace is ours and our proper response is gratitude and worship. Jesus showed us how to live in gratitude and share it with those we encounter.
Mary Jo Leddy joins the authors who are currently writing on gratitude, but does so with some very practical applications that caught my eye when I was planning summer worship. Her book, Radical Gratitude, is beautifully written and I commend it to you. In the introduction, she writes:
Gratitude is how I weigh in on the world. It is the spirit that shapes me and folds me into faith…Authentic spirituality, genuine politics, and good economics arise from a spirit of radical gratitude…[It is an] alternative to our driven, consumed, and consuming existence…
In gratitude, the vicious cycle of dissatisfaction with life is broken and we begin anew in the recognition of what we have rather than in what we don’t, in the acknowledgement of who we are rather than in the awareness of who we aren’t. Gratitude is the foundation of faith in God as creator of all beginnings, great and small. It awakens the imagination to another way of being, to another kind of economy, the great economy of grace in which each person is of infinite value and worth.
Each week we will use some of her prayers in worship and go home with a poem she has written that will challenge us during the week. I hope God’s Spirit will be at work to transform all of us into a people who live grounded in gratitude.