Wholehearted gratitude

It wasn’t an official day of Thanksgiving, but thanksgiving was a profound part of what happened that day. There were thousands in need of food, to which they were without ready access. To Jesus’ disciples, the meager fare available—some bread and a few fish—wasn’t even enough to give gratitude for in the face of such lack. But for Jesus, thanksgiving was the natural response—not because he was an optimist but because he saw something others didn’t. He saw God’s goodness as present reality, and supply enough for everyone—God’s ever-present provision—as the natural outcome of this clear spiritual vision. And his gratitude wasn’t in vain: Everyone was fed, with plenty left over (see John 6:1–13).

This story raises the question, As we confront the things in our lives and in the world that are in need of healing, are we going to be like the disciples or like Jesus? Are we going to look at what we have with halfhearted gratitude—or none at all? Or are we going to turn to the big-picture gratitude that starts with God and feels a deep and abiding trust that beyond what the eye can see, good is the power, the true substance of our lives, and the only reality now?

That last option might be difficult, if not impossible, to accept if it were dependent on us to muster up gratitude in the face of looming problems. But we are never working alone. The same Christ that animated Jesus and suffused his healing prayers with power also animates and empowers our prayers today. Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered the Science of Christ, explained that Christ is
“the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness.” This voice of good is powerful because it is the voice of Truth; it reveals what’s real. And it does this by “dispelling the illusions of the senses” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 332)—by showing mortality and its limitations to be a farce, and the infinitude and harmony of God, Spirit, to be the truth of being. 

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November 20, 2023

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