Dear CCOV Family,
I love the lyrics to a song called “Thankful” by David Foster, Carole Bayer Sager, and Richard Page. It’s on Josh Groban’s 2009 Christmas Album, Noel. The opening verse could be a mini sermon:
Some days, we forget to look around us.
Some days, we can’t see the joy that surrounds us.
So caught up inside ourselves, we take when we should give.
So for tonight we pray for what we know can be.
And on this day we hope for what we still can’t see.
It’s up to us to be the change.
And even though we all can still do more,
there’s so much to be thankful for.
“Thankful” is a good Thanksgiving song about changing our perspective and looking outside of ourselves—rather than focusing first on flaws and problems. When I ask the usual question, “How are you today,” I am struck by faith-filled answers like, “I’m so thankful. I’ve got a roof over my head, friends and family around, and good food to eat. How are you?” I love responses that start at a place of gratitude. Unfortunately, I often catch myself responding to such a question with litany of complaints like, “Fine, if it weren’t for this cold,” or “Tired, because I’m not sleeping well.” Our natural human inclination is to focus on the flaws and problems, because indeed, we’re often “so caught up inside ourselves.” Paradoxically, the best way to stop dwelling on our problems is to make a habit of looking outside of ourselves.
These days we have so many opportunities to look outside of ourselves. You know as well as I do that a myriad of places in the world are in dire need of our attention. I hope you will continue to give to disaster relief as you are able. You can write checks to the church with the designation “disaster relief,” or you can go to the UCC’s website and give at www.ucc.org/. At church you can also help sponsor a senior for Christmas, purchase UMOM cards in Hayden Hall after the service, or help with our UMOM meal service. This Thanksgiving let us respond to God’s incredible generosity to us by offering our gifts, tithes, talents, and treasures.
Clint and I wish you all a blessed Thanksgiving holiday!
Grace and Peace,