The expression is simple yet beautiful--just two words each having one syllable--words that warm the heart and bring a smile to our faces; that breath life and joy into one another. We were taught them when we were young and we have taught them to our children and grandchildren. Often those teaching moments came with a question that prompted a response. 'what do you say'? When a child receives a gift or an act of kindness we will often prompt them to respond; to respond with the words 'thank you'.
As we approach Thanksgiving Day, as we reflect on all the blessings we enjoy in the land in which we live and the grace and kindness of God that has been poured out so abundantly in our lives, the question has to be asked, 'what do you say'?
What do you say to those who have touched our lives deeply; who have come alongside and offered a helping hand, a word of encouragement; who shared in our laughter and joy or held us close and gave us the gift of comfort and hope when we found ourselves in a dark or scary place.
Holidays are often times when we gather with family and friends. We busy ourselves with planning and preparing so that the centerpiece of our gathering--a shared meal around the table--is just right. But too often the meal passes quickly and we rush off, assuming there will be another gathering, another meal when the next holiday comes around.
This Thanksgiving I want to encourage you to slow down and enjoy the moments shared with family and friends. If your plans don't involve gathering with your family then extend an invitation for friends to join you. If you know someone who might be alone, extend a special invitation to that person to share time with you. Cherish each moment! Embrace the laugher and joy as you share stories and remember those who have gone before us; keeping their story alive in our hearts. Every smile, every hug is a gift! As you share in such gifts, 'what do you say'?
And, 'what do you say' to the One who has been so good and kind and faithful; who has poured out in abundance His love and grace, often in ways we have not even noticed or we have taken for granted.
Thanksgiving is a time when we remind ourselves everything we enjoy in life is a gift from God; that we are all debtors of His grace!
From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. (John 1:17)
My friends at Valley, 'what do you say'?
I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
Ken Clarke has been the Pastor at Valley since 2007. He lives in the Oliver area