chrisThe Unity of Thankfulness by Chris Shay
Read Colossians 3:15-17
Having just returned from a mission trip to Kenya, the physical needs and challenges of the majority world are fresh in my heart and mind. Combine that awareness  with moving to a new office building this week—with multiple rooms for every possible task, new furniture, new break rooms…’s overwhelming to say the least. I’ve gone from an environment and culture where multitudes of people mean lots of noise and amazing sights, to a quiet, sterile and somewhat lonely office – but one filled with many perks that could be considered luxuries. So as I enter back into my home setting again, I have been thinking about thankfulness.
What are many of the people I have just left in Kenya thankful for each day? Here are a few things: available water through water tanks that avoid long walks and lines; selling enough fruit, shoes, car parts etc. on the street that day to feed the family; sunny days holding off the inevitable rainy season, that can bring much damage to stalls and roads; fellowship with others all around who are also working hard to make it in life. Joy, laughter, hope in a God who loves them, family and community.
And for me? Available water yes—I’m once again aware of that blessing. A job that provides income and security to meet daily needs, and the bonus of work I love; many sunny and warm fall days, preparing me for the inevitable cold days ahead; fellowship with folks in the workplace; joy laughter, family and community. And hope in a God who loves me. Thankfulness for me comes from allowing the Lord to show Himself in big and small ways, no matter where I am. It comes from living faithfully in my primary context as a good steward of the resources I have. Money of course, but also time for others, kindness and caring. How sweet it is and how thankful I am to know that I share unity with other believers around the world—and that thankfulness is a key component of that unity! Colossians 3:15 says “Let the peace of Christ dwell in you richly, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Along with millions of other sisters and brothers in the world, I can honestly say I am thankful.
Have you considered the thankfulness of others alongside your own thankfulness list?
How does being a member of one body in Christ affect your thankfulness?