Gratitude and Generosity – Vision Board Devotion by Brad Van Horn

“Gratitude and Generosity,” words that are inextricably intertwined when talking about faith.  Words that are technically prose but are nearly poetry because they have the potential to ignite the imagination and carry with them the power to bring great change when used together.  For a moment, in your mind, consider converting the phrase, “Gratitude and Generosity” to an image of a very long timeline but imagine there is only one point, the now, delineating the segments making up the past and the future.

The gratitude side of the line causes us to reflect on the past, about things that have happened to us or for us.  Some things we recall easily because they’re very tangible and we may experience them every day like being thankful for loving family and friends so we are reminded and re-reminded frequently.  Other things are a little more distant and we have to be vigilant to not let our memories fade, like our gratitude for service men and women who have fought for our freedom.  And then, of course, in this most holy season, as Christians, we must take time to contemplate and have gratitude for the eternal salvation granted to us with the ultimate sacrifice of our savior, Jesus Christ.

Now, remember the image and look at the generosity side of the line, the future, and think of it as a verb.  While it is important to send God our “thank you notes” in the form of prayers, he expects much more from us.  We are also called to action.  Another closely associated phrase, “time, talent, and treasure” have wonderful alliteration and symbolism but it seems like they are used so frequently that their meaning has become diluted. Do we sometimes interpret these words as “Time or Talent or Treasure”?

Because my term on the Vision Board is ending in April, I would like to express my gratitude to all of you for allowing me to learn and grow in the most wondrous of ways.  It has truly been an honor to serve God by serving Easter Lutheran Church.  Easter Lutheran Church is healthy in every sense; spiritually, culturally, and fiscally.  We have the greatest volunteers who are abundantly generous with their time and talent.  We have tremendous plans to do even more incredible work in God’s kingdom and now, more than ever, it is important that we make sure we are properly supporting our ministries and staff by reflecting on all the things for which we are grateful and seizing the opportunity to align our generosity with our gratitude.   Please prayerfully consider the call to action that lies within “Gratitude and Generosity.”

Today Lord, guide my generosity by doing your will with all that I have.  Amen.

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