This coming Sunday, May 16, is Gratitude Sunday. As part of our lead up to thinking about and praying over our commitments to our Capital Campaign, Hope Rising: Embracing Our Future at Fremont, we are going to talk about the spiritual practice of gratitude. Often, gratitude or thankfulness, is defined in passive terms. For example, someone does something kind for you, and as a response, you are grateful for that gesture. But, gratitude can also be understood in active terms. It can be something you demonstrate or show. You can practice gratitude.
"I am the vine, and you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5
"The heavens declare the glory of God, and the earth declares the work of God's hands." Psalm 19:1
"Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life." John 12:24
"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life." John 3:16
"For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." 1 Corinthians 1:18
"Then Jesus began to teach them that the Mortal One (Son of Man) must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again." Mark 8:31
"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me." Psalm 51:10
"Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them.." Mark 9:2
January was an eventful month, and the various national occurrences all happened to fall on Wednesdays. My son, Elijah, read one headline that talked about the "I"'s of Wednesdays in January: Insurrection, Impeachment, Inauguration and Investment (referencing last Wednesday's GameStop stock event where everyday investors beat hedge fund investors at their own game). While each of these events is noteworthy in its own way, the insurrection on the first Wednesday in January merits some deeper conversation and reflection because it implicates Christianity in very specific ways.