Josh Medlock, Director of Student Ministries
Each November in America, we celebrate Thanksgiving.
What I want to talk about today is not the holiday itself, but the word “thanksgiving.”
This word simply means: giving thanks.
This is something we are told we should do on a regular basis, both in the secular and non-secular worlds.
When we pray, we give thanks. When someone does something nice for us, we say thank you.
How many of you have ever gone to the mailbox and found a card from someone that you weren’t expecting? You opened it and found that someone simply wanted to send a thank you card.
This is common practice when receiving a gift, for example.
I remember when we were having our wedding showers, having to sit down and write all the thank you cards.
(Well, Heather wrote all the cards. But I helped seal the envelopes, so I did do something.)
If you are a child of the digital age, then answer this:
Have you ever opened your inbox and discovered that someone sent you a random meme or GIF to simply say “Thanks?”
It gives you a feeling of joy, contentment or happiness.
Maybe you think, “Wow, they care enough to actually think of me.”
My family and I have received numerous thank you cards over the years from church members and leaders at various times.
Each time it is unexpected and each time it makes our day a little brighter.
When was the last time you thanked someone?
For me, it has been a while. So this is my letter of thanksgiving.
I want to thank each of you who pray for me and for my family.
I want to thank all of you who continue to pray for our church, for our church members, and for our church leaders.
Prayer is such an important part of our spiritual journey, and I truly believe it makes a difference.
It is a way we can plug in and stay connected to God and to one another.
I want to thank all of you who have not given up.
It is hard to have hope in the midst of chaos and turbulence.
The pandemic is still hitting many of us hard.
Normal is no longer, and the future for some looks very uncertain.
Change comes quickly now and sometimes without warning.
Our church has not been untouched.
So to all of you who continue to look to the future in your own personal lives and the life of this church, I thank you.
Words cannot express the thanks and gratitude reserved for all of you who have and continue to step up to serve.
When things are uncertain and our fear or anger consumes us, it is easy to turn and walk away.
It is easy to think that things will be different somewhere else, and that the problems can be left behind.
The reality for some is that the problems will follow us.
So in the face of fear or anger, we have to make a choice.
To those of you who choose to serve and ask “How can I help, where can I serve?,” know that I and the staff here at First United Methodist Garland are forever grateful, and see hope in you and the future of this church.
Sometimes we simply need a reminder that we should be more thankful.
I got mine recently.
If you want to know the story, I would encourage you to come ask me.
I will happily tell you the tale in hopes it can provide you with hope and a smile.
We have a lot to be thankful for, my friends.
I encourage you to let those around you know just how thankful you are for them.
You may not get another chance.
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Colossians 3:15-17 (ESV)