We Give Thanks This Week

We give thanks this week. Despite fires that ravaged parts of California, Christians there give thanks. The Paradise Church of Christ building was totally destroyed, except for its sign. On the other hand, pictures of Pepperdine University, a college associated with the Church of Christ, show its campus surrounded by devastation of burned out forest and neighborhoods, yet its campus seemingly untouched by the fire. Students and faculty sheltered in place in two buildings on campus. According to a friend of mine, they cheered loudly at 3 a.m. when a wall of fire three hundred yards from the library where they were sheltered was extinguished as helicopters dropped a huge load of water. We give thanks that while so many lives have been lost or disrupted, others were spared and hope remains.
We give thanks this week. Despite a horrible accident that totaled his car and broke his body, Jeremy Telgren, the son of a friend of mine who preaches, survives. We will pray for him and encourage his family as we are able. A fund has been set up to help him deal with vast unexpected expenses associated with his medical care and rehabilitation. Here is the link to the site for that fund if you can contribute.  We rejoice that he lives.
We give thanks this week. Many of us have know pain in our lives. Sometimes that pain was self-inflicted, at other times we were the collateral damage from other people’s mistakes. This year, two beloved sisters in Christ died in the church where I preach. We cherish our memories of them. Others in the congregation have battled illness and injury this year. Some have been healed; others still suffer. We rejoice with those who rejoice; we weep and pray with those who grieve and suffer. We give thanks for joyful memories and healing.
We give thanks this week for the privilege of worshipping openly our God of grace and glory. We are surrounded by beauty in the world he created. This past week, a patina of snow coated trees in northeastern Kansas, presenting a vision of wonder. Inspiring sunsets and, in recent weeks, colorful leaves capture our imagination. We, scarred by sin and trauma, marvel that the God who created such beauty saw the creation of humanity as what made this world “very good.” We give thanks and pray that our lives will radiate the light and beauty of God to those we meet.
We give thanks this week. I conclude with the worlds of the Psalmist: “Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things; let them consider the steadfast love of the LORD” (Psalm 107:43 ESV).

About Michael Summers

Michael Waymon Summers has preached in twenty-seven of the United States as well as seven other countries. Michael earned a Master of Theology degree. He also has done graduate work in international studies. Michael likes to run, loves to sing, and reads voraciously.
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