Posted by: duncandrews | August 15, 2009


I heard a fantastic sermon this week by Peter Brain, bishop of the Armidale diocese in NSW. Apart from just being a bit different (he preached on one verse – Eph 5:20 – a bold move in the heartland of Biblical Theology!) it was a timely reminder to be thankful.

What stood out to me was that what Paul says is not so much a reminder as an instruction – Be thankful. I find my instinctive reading of verses like this is to turn it into an aspirational goal – it would be really good, and one day maybe I’ll get there, if I could be thankful all the time.

But I wonder how different our lives would be if we took these positive commands (be thankful, rejoice always, love one another, just to name a few) as seriously as we seem to take the Bible’s negative ones.

So, I’m experimenting with being thankful. Not aspiring to thankfulness, not hoping for thankfulness, but doing it, and not doing its inverse (grumbling). It’s silly really, that I even need to say that – if I recognised the truth of things, just how gracious God is to us, and at what cost, thankfulness would be the most natural, assumed, unselfconscious thing in the world; and grumbling the most perverse.

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