Florence Congregational Church
Friday, April 10, 2020
A Place to Connect

Pastor Irv’s Corner - November 2015


(Including an excerpt from Fresh Bread: And other Gifts of Spiritual Nourishment, by Joyce Rupp)


November: Thanksgiving Day, harvest times, awareness of blessings, gratitude for gifts. It is significant and necessary for us to ponder deeply all that we have been given. If we reflect quietly and honestly, we can be almost overwhelmed by all that is ours. God has been very generous. None of the gifts has been earned. God gives all gifts freely. Even Jesus is an abundant, free gift to us. God is lavish in love, generous in the outpouring of goodness. This great generosity can draw us to look at our generosity: How generous have we been with others in our lives? Are we people who freely give of our treasures? Do we yearn to have the heart of our God, the one who lavishes love upon us freely? Do we cherish deeply all that we are and all that we have been given? Do we hold that love with open hands allowing it to be readily available to others or do we clutch it to ourselves in fear that we might lose it?


These are really personal questions to consider this Thanksgiving. The idea that everything we have is not ours, but really God’s is thought provoking. The love of God is too. The love God freely pours out to us regardless of our agendas. We are not only blessed with great resources, but by God who wants to love us unconditionally. When we are strong and living life as a good disciple, and when we fall short of our responsibilities, God continues to love, to draw us towards him, to guide us back to the right track.


As we approach our November celebrations (Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, 1st Sunday of Advent [Hope]), take a short break every day and think about God’s daily engagement in your life. Rather than focusing on what you are thankful for, focus on what might you do to express your thankfulness. As your toes touch the floor each morning and your day begins anew, what is it that God calls you to do in expression of your love for Him? How will you love God lavishly? How will you greet a stranger? Coworker? Family member?


Being thankful for your many blessings is acknowledged in how you share those blessings, be it a kind word, a helping hand, or simple gesture. Be generous with love and your treasures. Be thankful by engaging, growing, being all that you can be. Show the world you are one of God’s chosen disciples trying to make a difference by simply being thankful for what you have, whether you have only a little, or much.


Brenda and I plan to serve a Thanksgiving focused dinner at the Cot Shelter on Thanksgiving night. If you’d like to help by providing something for the meal, or being present to help, please let us know. The guests are grateful. It is truly a blessing to extend God’s love to a few folks who have so little…. Treasurers, hope, love, peace, joy. If you have some to share, bless them this Thanksgiving. Perhaps when you offer God a prayer of gratitude at your Thanksgiving, you might lift a prayer for those stuck at the shelter.


Thank God for your blessings. Bless God by blessing others. Be thankful always. In Christ, π




Florence Congregational Church • 130 Pine Street, Florence, Massachusetts 01062 • 413.584.1325