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Give Thanks for the Now

Categories: Bible,Musings and Meditations

“Give Thanks for the Now”

What gift can we bring,

what present, what token?

What words can convey it,

the joy of this day?

When grateful we come,

remembering, rejoicing,

what song can we offer

in honor and praise?

 

It is one of the challenges of our human condition that we are creatures who live in the midst of a past that we can no longer affect and a future that we cannot see. Our lives, someone has said, are spent, then, in the dash between two dates, and so we are nothing more and nothing less than creatures of the present, creatures of the now.

 

But, as Jane Marshall’s verse reminds us, the present, the “now” is something for which we may be thankful, a gift given to us by God in order that we might use it to serve God’s purposes and give God praise. (Notice that the word “present” is a synonym for “gift.” Thus, the present is also our present, one given to us by a gracious and gift-giving God who longs that we would open and unwrap and enjoy this gift, this present with the same glee as we feel on our birthdays or on Christmas morning!)

 

Give thanks for the now,

for study, for worship,

for mission that bids us

turn prayers into deeds.

 

The now is a time for us to study, to worship, to sit in the presence of a God who is as patient with us as a loving parent, who is as persistent with us as a wise teacher, who presses us as does a strict sergeant or a commanding coach. God longs that our study, our worship might turn us into persons on fire for mission, mission that causes us to turn away from ourselves and our own cares and concerns and outward toward others, toward the wider world which we are called to transform, in concert with Jesus to came to transform all.

 

This morning, then, our Stewardship emphasis calls us focus on the now, and on how the now, the present, drives us out from the past and toward the future. Our Estimates of Giving for 2017, due by November 13 at the Feast of Thanks, become in this way our expression of faith in a God who holds the past, the present, and the future firmly in the divine hands and faithfully in the divine arms.

Rev. Charles Tobias
Author: Rev. Charles Tobias

“The pastor is primarily the theologian-in-residence in the local church. I understand theology as both a noun and a verb. Literally the word means “God talk,” and because talk about God demands action before it is complete and authentic, it seems to me that real theology must be done as well as spoken, acted upon as well as thought out, and expressed in written and oral forms.”

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