“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” – Albert Schweitzer
This is the time of the year when we are all asked to reflect on the spiritual life we lead through giving. On the second Sunday in October we heard the Gospel story of the Tenth Leper who turned back to thanks Jesus for his healing and being restored to the community. The simple expression of gratitude or thanks has the power to reorient the moment in which we find ourselves. Saying thanks provides us in that moment the ability to be “in the moment” a goal which all of us seek. prayer and gratitude are exercises in staying present. It is a rare thing when we are able to be a non-anxious presence in our life an din the lives of others.
Each week when we gather in what we call church, we are given an opportunity to express gratitude and to center ourselves in order to go out into the world an deb present to others. We are reminded as a body each week to gladden the journey of those around us; to rekindle the sparks of those we encounter and in turn, to have our sparks rekindled. This is what Jesus did and what we are called to do. Each day. It is at the lowest time in our lives that we are offered the spark and the ability to push on. The spark may come from another person but it is God at work.
Thanking and giving are part of the same flow of life. Supporting faith communities is a counter to the anxiety that is a large part of our lives. One of the greatest spiritual Anglican poets is George Herbert, an Anglican priest. Hear the depth of what he says from the 17th Century to us today about gratitude and giving:
“Thou that has given so much to me,
Give one thing more – a grateful heart …”
” … Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
As if thy blessings had spare days;
But such a heart, whose pulse may be
- The Reverend Lawrence B. Weeks