It’s easy to be thankful for the big blessings that come our way. But when you stop and think about it, we’re also thankful for the little blessings, even though we may not even think of them as blessings.
It’s the feeling you get when the kids obey—the first time you tell them. It’s the small sense of pleasure you feel when there are no extra parts left over when you assemble the new grill. It’s the quiet satisfaction when the internet connects when you need it.
How about the pleasant surprise you experience when the stain in your new blouse actually comes out in the wash? Maybe it’s just the lack of expected frustration you get when you find your lost car keys in only the third place you look for them or when that slow-moving tractor pulling a combine turns off into the field just as you approach from behind?
What about the small routine blessings in our church and worship life? Who doesn’t appreciate it when you walk into church and someone greets you by name and seems genuinely happy to see you? There is the quiet comfort of participating in the familiar words and music of the liturgy—words and music that many of us have appreciated since childhood. We are happy to join in prayer for specific people we know when they are facing illness or celebrating joyful events like births and marriages.
Now think of the larger blessings that come to us from a gracious God every time we enter God’s house for worship. There we know that we will hear the Word of God preached and proclaimed—both the stern message of God’s law that calls us to repentance and the sweet good news of the gospel that points us to what Christ has done not just for the world but also for us. In every worship service we will hear the pastor, a spokesman for God himself, assure us that our sins are fully paid for and our guilt is completely removed. What Christian does not walk away from the altar filled with joy and peace after receiving the true body and blood of Jesus? Who does not rejoice when a little child is brought into God’s family by the Holy Spirit through water and the Word?
How can we fail to see the amazing blessing of gathering in fellowship with the members of our spiritual family to be strengthened by the Word and to provide encouragement to one another? There in God’s house, every Sunday is a reminder of the first Easter Sunday, and along with it the assurance that because Jesus lives, we also shall live. When we leave his house with our fellow believers, we are reminded that even though we will be leaving God’s house to go back to a broken and sometimes frightening world, we have a God who reigns and who governs all things for the good of his church. We leave nourished by the words of God himself. Our faith is strengthened, we are equipped to serve God with thanks, and we are moved to share the good news of Jesus with others.
Even though blessings—both large and small—come to us every day, don’t ever take them for granted. Recognize them with thanks as God’s gracious gifts to us sinners who simply don’t deserve any of them.
Author: Mark Schroeder
Volume 108, Number 2
Issue: February 2021