Keeping Gratitude in Fullness

Ryan Reeve: “In Jewish tradition . . . it became very common to pray after the meal. . . not before the meal. The idea there is give thanks when you’re full, not when you’re hungry. Give thanks when you’ve enjoyed all these things. . . .

“I think that is a fully biblical concept of creation in the way that we ought to entice the world out of their sort of stifling rationalism.”

The harvest is in. Our refrigerators are full as we spend the next few weeks filling up on gifts and more food. It’s a season of anticipation. A season of fullness. Of sometimes too much fullness. Of demands on time, money, self.

At the end of that season of fullness, we impose a new time to empty ourselves on purpose. We make resolutions most of us don’t keep–or don’t keep for long.

Somewhere between, gratitude gets lost. In our busy-ness, we strive forward, having put thankfulness behind us.

The meal began; the prayer ended. But this reminder:

Give thanks to the LORD for his is good, his mercy endures forever! Let that be the prayer of the LORD’s redeemed, those redeemed from the land of the foe, those gathered from foreign lands, from east and west, from north and south. Psalm 107:1-3~

If we belong to him, we are among the redeemed. He has rescued us from the foe. He has gathered us to our place in his Church.

Gratitude is how we shine light in the darkness of winter. We woo the friend, those who see themselves as the foe, those still afar. We woo them to come to the light.

Gratitude is contentment in a world seeking more and more. Gratitude is satisfaction and peace.

“The test of all happiness is gratitude.” G.K. Chesterton

And happiness in Christ brings light into the darkness.

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20 Replies to “Keeping Gratitude in Fullness”

  1. I love the concept of light shining into the darkness. As we celebrate Christ’s 1st coming into the world at Winter Solstice, the darkest time of the year, it is SO symbolic of how He breaks through the darkness and shines for all to see.

  2. The more we focus on gratitude the better. AWESOME. And I didn’t realize that about the prayer AFTER meal tradition… what a neat idea!

  3. I love this message. Gratitude in our fullness. After our “meal” or blessings. Praying I can maintain a fullness of gratitude day by day. For God’s blessings in Christ Jesus are truly endless.

  4. I love the Jewish tradition to thank God for all things after all has been received. I wholeheartedly agree with you that “Gratitude is how we shine light in the darkness of winter.” The holidays can either be a time of great thanks or one of great discouragement. It’s a mindset we take. When we can look at how God is gracious to us and live from the contentment of His sacrificial love for us, we can be more thankful.

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