The richest kind of thanksgiving

A day set aside for thanksgiving is traditional in the United States and in some other countries. And often it is a rich occasion for gatherings with family and friends. The most important thing, however, is the richness of our gratitude. The richest kind of thanksgiving is spiritual; it is gratitude for the goodness and love God bestows on each and every one of His dear children universally. This is gratitude any person can feel in their heart and express in their life, regardless of their present human circumstances—and when it is sincere, it brings increasing evidence of God’s goodness and care more fully into one’s life.

Perhaps it’s the measure of our sincerity that counts most when it comes to gratitude. This idea came rather poignantly to my attention as I pondered again some of the things Mary Baker Eddy says about gratitude. Take this statement in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, for example: “Action expresses more gratitude than speech” (p. 3). It was a moving reminder to me that, while it is indeed good to verbally express gratitude for our God-bestowed blessings—perhaps in a testimony at the Thanksgiving Day service in a Church of Christ, Scientist—the sincerity of our gratitude can only be measured by how fully we express our gratitude in the way we live.

What came to mind as I thought of this was how Jesus responded as he sat and watched people cast their contributions into the treasury. He saw many rich folk contributing of their wealth, while one poor woman—a widow—contributed everything she had, “two mites, which make a farthing.” Jesus called his disciples to him, and said to them: “This poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: for all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living” (see Mark 12:41–44). I began to see how this applied to expressing gratitude for the rich blessings we receive through the study of Christian Science. No matter how rich, or poor, we are in our understanding of the spiritual truths of Christian Science, the sincerity of our gratitude can only be measured by how much we are giving of ourselves by putting that understanding into practice. Giving our all by practicing what we do understand is true gratitude. And it is the only way we grow even richer in our understanding of God and His spiritual creation. 

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Bible Lens
Bible Lens—November 21–27, 2016
November 21, 2016

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