When You Can’t Give Thanks

Thank you.

It’s not hard to feel grateful right now. We’ve received a third of our Setting the Table pledges back already and our project is 40% funded. This means that, provided we have full congregational participation, we should be able to move forward as planned to make room for both the current and anticipated growth of our family here at St. Patrick. Your generosity is such a faithful witness to God’s own self-sacrifice for us, setting a table for those who are far away.

I’m deeply grateful looking over the past year to see how graciously you’ve welcomed my family and the Weirs into your tribe and on your staff, not to mention 60 new church members, as well as all our homemade disciples (my community group alone has seen three new babies this semester!). In years past when Jim and the leadership cast vision for Future Thriving, this is what they were dreaming of: our present. I’m thankful to be here.

But we’re not always enjoying a season like this, and we certianly have no reason to feel entitled to such favor in the present. Jim is always reminding us of the tension between how Heaven is local and yet you can’t get all your Heaven here and now. We’ll explore that tension in depth over the Advent season. I’ve experienced more than one Thanksgiving (and I’m sure you have too) in which the blessings are mixed at best. For some, the holidays are a marathon of grief and you’re frankly tired of being told to acentuate the positive and count your blessings. Does God really want me to be grateful for all this pain? This weekend we’ll explore that with the question, “What do I do when I can’t give thanks?” I hope to see you there.

PS. We’re still accepting pledges and plan to announce totals in more detail on December 3. Click here for a link to give securely online, or download a Pledge Card here (more cards will be available at the back of the sanctuary on Sunday morning). This goal is attainable, but not guaranteed without your help!

– Josh