Daily Devotion for May 28, 2020

When I was growing up, I remember that my dad often said, “Give thanks in all things.” This good counsel comes from St. Paul’s first letter to the people of Thessalonica.  I Thessalonians 5:18 reads “Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.” I did not seem like an easy thing to do. I often think of these surprising words, for there is evil in the world and situations that are indeed seemingly not worthy of our thanks.  Yet it is not FOR such circumstances, but IN these circumstances. The difference is important.  I am not thankful that, yet another black man died this week under the knee of a while police officer.  I am not thankful that the novel corona virus that has claimed 100,000 lives in the USA or wreaked havoc on our economy and shuttered our church buildings. I am not thankful that people are suffering many consequences of this global pandemic: rising suicide and family violence, the toll it has taken on poor people, elderly people and people of color.  I am thankful for our deepening awareness of grave injustices in this land that claims to offer liberty and justice for all. I am thankful that the Church has never been more relevant. I am thankful that God offers us a re-do to be the hands and feet and heart of Christ in the world. I am thankful that in this pandemic God’s Word is proclaimed across the globe over the worldwide web. God’s word is being preached in parking lots and on church lawns. God’s word is being sewn with love into homemade masks and other PPE and that if your look for it, you can see God’s goodness in these selfless acts. God’s fingerprints are all over the possibilities.  The great theologian of children young and old, (Rev) Mr. Fred Rogers is often quoted as saying:

When I was a little boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say look for the helpers.  You will always find people who are helping. To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers, so many caring people in this world.

We can look for the good in people. We can look of the opportunities to make our world a better place. In this way, we can bear the light of Christ and thank God IN all things.