Community in Action "Gratitude" April 16, 2020

Community in Action

Guilt helps us recognize when we fall short of our calling, when we sin, in being a follower of Jesus Christ and Grace is God’s gift to us to be reconciled to God by removing our sin from us. The only valid response to that Grace is Gratitude.

    Gratitude, this is the third “G” found in our Reformed tradition. As mentioned yesterday we do not deserve to be reconciled to God. We can not earn the right or reward to be absolved from our sin. There is nothing we can do to have a relationship with God other than to receive God’s gift of Grace. This is why we are grateful.

    In my reading of Karl Barth he points out the Greek word for Grace, χάρισ, and the Greek word for gratitude, εύχαριστία, both have the root word Grace embedded in their spelling. God’s grace evokes our gratitude. Barth goes on to say, “Grace and gratitude belong together like heaven and earth. Grace evokes gratitude like the voice an echo. Gratitude follows grace like thunder lightning.”

    The best way to respond to God’s grace is through gratitude. Another way to translate εύχαριστία is “Thanksgiving.” In fact another name for our celebration of communion is the Eucharist or The Great Thanksgiving.

    In order to truly be absolved from our guilt, the feeling when we sin, we need to receive God’s grace and once we have accepted God’s grace then we should respond with thankfulness or gratitude.

    So this week when we celebrate the Eucharist or The Last Supper or Communion, let us recognize our true humanity includes guilt from our sin, but God’s grace erases that sin, and guilt, and allows us to be thankful or filled with gratitude for God’s gift of grace.

    Blessings to you and yours,

    Pastor Randy

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