In All Things and With Every Breath…

I want to talk about giving thanks. Not as an event, or specific moments in time. But as a constant outflow in our lives.

The sad thing is that I can already hear the cynics and naysayers shaming my idealism in pursuing love, seeking peace, and living in a spirit of perpetual thanksgiving.

We live in a time when old hatreds are coming back to life, old divisions are widening, old scars are being torn wide open. We are being told that this is our only reality and we must pick sides and prepare for the battle. There is an ever-growing chorus across generations who believe that love has failed, peace is for the weak, and giving thanks is only for those who live in privilege.

I reject those notions.

No matter how dark or cynical our world has become. No matter how frequently we are reminded or have participated in the wreckage around us through social media. No matter how tilted and jaded the news is that we consume. No matter the heights to which we have climbed or the depths to which we have fallen. Despite our unique situation or circumstance. And no matter how many times we are fed the narrative that our only reality and response is anger, hatred, division, and death… we can embody, participate in, and invite others into another way of living.

There is an ever-present reality into which we can enter, a realm into which we are continually invited, where love wholly embraces, mends broken-hearts, births a new way of living, gives eyes to see people and the world differently, and changes each one of us in such a profound way that thanksgiving becomes the very essence of our being, and the perpetual outflow of our spirit.

Thanksgiving is so much more than an event, so much more than a sporadic, momentary act, so much more than an expression of gratitude only when something goes in our favor or when the conditions are right. Thanksgiving is a an ever-flowing expression of gratitude in everything, in every moment of the day, with every breath that is taken, and never dependent upon the situation or circumstance.

You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. You’re deeply rooted in him. You’re well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you’ve been taught. School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving.  Colossians 2: 6-7, The Message

Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house.  Colossians 3: 15-16, The Message

Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.  1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18, The Message

Thanksgiving is our perpetual expression of gratitude for God’s grace, God’s love, God’s mercy, God’s provision, and God’s marvelous creation.

Thanksgiving is our perpetual expression of gratitude, rooted in the love of Christ, for all people, all relationships, and all things.

Thanksgiving is our perpetual expression of gratitude, rooted in the love of Christ, regardless of our life situation or our changing condition.

Thanksgiving, rooted in the love of Christ, says right now and right now and right now, “This Life is good. And I want to invite everyone to a seat at Life’s table.”

Thanksgiving, rooted in the love of Christ, responds in the midst of chaos, confusion, and calamity, “Thank you God for your grace, your mercy, your love, and your beauty. Let me be an extension of You everywhere I am and with every breath I take.”

As followers of Jesus, we are present participants in the promise of God making all things new. God’s new creation has been initiated in our lives. And we have been given new eyes and new hearts to see clearly the beauty, majesty, and wonder of God right now, even amidst the wreckage around us. And we have been given the present task of inviting others into this beautiful, life-giving reality.

For it is an invitation, not for the privileged, but for the unworthy.

The Spirit cries… See the wonder! See the glory! See the beauty! Move forward in awe!

Be an invitation.

Listen.
Smell.
Feel.

Close your eyes.

Take it all in and delight.

Let the wind blow at your back and let the sun shine down on your face.
Listen to the conversations.
Joy in the laughter of your children.
Celebrate that you can give your baby a bath.
Delight in the songs of the birds and the rustling of the leaves.
Be enveloped by everything and everyone around you.

Count your blessings.

Smell the autumn fragrance.
Let the preparation of your meal be a prayer and a blessing.
Savor every bite as if it is your very first.
Feel the textures.
Let the work of your hands be praise.

Count your blessings.

Enjoy friendship as you break bread at the table.
Find life in mowing the lawn, washing the dishes, and in all the seemingly mundane.
Be still and marvel at every star brilliantly shining in the night sky.
Rejoice in every good time and bad, for it is all worth it.

Count your blessings.

Sit in the woods and notice every detail of creation.
Close your eyes and absorb every note and harmony.
Glory in every drop of your morning coffee.
Embrace the touch of another.
Join in the chorus of all creation in praise.

Count your blessings.

It is good.
It is good.
It is good.

From the depths of our souls and with every breath, we give thanks.

Brandon

4 thoughts on “In All Things and With Every Breath…

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