Be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:18-20
A week or so ago, Pam and I had a few hundred costumed children show up at our house.
They all made the same, simple request: "Trick or treat!" Some said it shyly; others were bold in making their demand. One even looked into our cauldron of goodies and informed us what treats he wanted. Well, we gave out the candy, and most of the children immediately turned to scope out the other houses on our block that had their welcoming porch lights blazing.
I guess about 10 percent of the children who came calling automatically said thank you. About 80 percent expressed their appreciation after a parent stopped them and said, "Hold on, pardner. Aren't you forgetting to say something to these nice folks?" Well, sure enough, that's what had happened, the children had forgotten to say, "Thank you."
Learning to say thanks is not just a lesson that needs to be learned by children.
In Sweden, the folks who run the blood banks there were having problems getting people to donate. Then, someone suggested, "Why don't we say 'thank you'"? Everybody agreed and the idea became policy. Now when someone wishes to give blood they are thanked twice.
1. They are thanked on the spot for their donation and caring and, later, when the donated blood has been used,
2. the giver is thanked again for having made a difference in another individual's life.
The reaction to the thank you program has been overwhelming. Donors feel both appreciated and needed. As a result, they are coming back to donate more often, and others who haven't given blood before are volunteering.
Learning to say thanks is a lesson we Christians also need to practice.
* we have a Creator who has given us life and keeps us each and every moment of that life;
* we have a Savior, God's Son, who came into this world to remove our sins, die our death, and grant eternal life to all who believe on Him;
* in addition we have the Holy Spirit, who brings us to faith and keeps us in the Lord's family.
For God's kindness, for the Savior's blood given to grant us eternal life, we ought to give thanks always and for everything.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, if I were to thank You for all You have done, I would end up doing nothing else. Even so, this day I give thanks for the Savior who shed His blood so I might be granted a new lease on life. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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