This week we're pleased to have Rev. Jenny Moran, pastor of Christ's Community Church in Maple Grove, MN, as our guest blogger. Pastor Jenny writes:
When our son, Evan, was four he was sitting in a Children’s Chat led by my mom. Mom asked the kids, “What is a blessing?” Evan piped right up and said, “A blessing is something that falls into your heart!” Poor Mom almost couldn’t finish the Children’s Chat she was so touched.
Evan was right, even if unexpectedly philosophical. We often think of blessings as tangible things: a promotion, a new car, a fun trip. But blessings are as much about a way of thinking and being than about things. Blessings come from God, not from anything we do. Blessings are all around us, all the time. When we recognize that God is the source of blessing in our lives, then it makes sense that blessings fall into our heart!
This past month our congregation has been learning about how God’s grace leads to our response of gratitude and generosity. Each Sunday we’ve studied the parable Jesus tells of the Prodigal Son. We’ve seen the grace of God offered to the father and both sons in that parable. We’ve learned of the father’s gratitude at the blessing God gave him of his younger son’s return. We’ve celebrated the generosity of spirit that is woven throughout that parable, and mourned the loss of generosity in the older son.
Over these same weeks, we’ve heard wonderful stories from members of our congregation of their own experiences of Grace, Gratitude, and Generosity, stories that have been inspiring and moving. Gratitude and Generosity are things we choose; Grace, of course, is not. Grace is the undeserved favor of our loving God. But we have the choice every day to be grateful, or resentful. We have the choice to be generous or “careful” in how we treat others.
Evan’s childlike insight into blessings offers us a great way to think about our choices of gratitude and generosity. If the blessings—or grace—that God offers us all the time live in our hearts, then we can’t help but be grateful and generous. That gratitude and generosity becomes part of our very being, not just something we do every now and then.
May we all be grateful for the blessings of God that keep falling into our hearts!