Federal social distancing guidelines have now been extended until April 30th. If we give in to our “inner complainer,” there’s a lot to complain about here. But let’s do something different. Beginning April 1st (no foolin’!), let’s conduct “30 Days of Gratitude.”
Trinity family and friends, I wish we could set up a huge Blessings Jar in our church’s Welcome Center. But since we are unable to gather at the present time, here’s my suggestion: set up a “Blessings Jar” at home. Each day, beginning on April 1st, every member of the family can write down one blessing for which they are thankful (on a slip of paper) and place it in the jar. At the end of each week (or at the end of the month), take a look at your blessings together.
During this most challenging and extraordinary time, let us make an intentional effort to express the joy and gratitude we have in Jesus! The spiritual blessings for which we are most grateful – forgiveness of sins, life with God now and forever – are the center of any expression of gratitude. But, truly, blessings of all kinds overflow for each of us.
Some suggestions for a 30 Days of Gratitude observance in your home:
- Blessings Jar – Designate a jar as a “Blessings Jar.” Every day, on slips of paper, each family member can write down one thing for which they are thankful. Parents, here is a tremendous opportunity for you and your children to be thankful together. Imagine how full that jar will be on April 30th!
- We want to express gratitude, not merely with a few throwaway words (“I’m thankful” or “I’m grateful”) but with concrete, intentional actions that honor God and serve others. Write down actions for which you are grateful to be able to carry out…and then carry them out!
- Daily include all of these items for which you are thankful in your prayers
- If you wish, send me a grateful thought or two (text/email) and I’ll include some in this blog and/or bulletin announcements (anonymously, of course)
- I’ll offer a few expressions of gratitude of my own here on this blog throughout the month of April
- And why not? When this is all over and we are able to gather together again for worship, bring your expressions of gratitude and place them in a huge Blessings Jar in Trinity’s Welcome Center. That might come in handy for a sermon illustration or two or for a couple of children’s messages. Seeing such a jar filled with so many blessings would be a powerful lesson all by itself. So, save your gratitude slips and bring them in when we gather together again!
A few announcements
- Trinity family and friends – you don’t need my permission to share these devotional posts! Share electronically! Print ‘em out! Share!
- An opportunity to help medical providers at the Marshfield Clinic: They need homemade face masks! Info: facebook.com/MarshfieldClinicHealthSystemFoundation/posts/3082128291831677 Contact Bonnie Butzer if you are able to serve in this way: 715-356-2215
- Martin Luther College is making available online Holy Week devotions written by their faculty. Sign up at this link to receive a devotion in your email inbox every day from Palm Sunday to Easter. https://mlc-wels.edu/publications/seasonal-devotions/#email
- The April edition of the Forward in Christ is available at this link:
- Parents can now download six weeks of Christ-Light lessons for free at https://online.nph.net/cl-ss-downloads, compliments of Northwestern Publishing House, so they can offer Sunday school at home. Bible stories offered follow the life of Jesus, including several of his miracles and the events of Holy Week and Easter. Different levels are available for children ranging in age from pre-kindergarten to grade six.
God bless you and yours,
Pastor Stephen Luchterhand