On Easter, I challenged myself and the congregation of Graceview, to give thanks. That might sound like a message more suited to a time of year when the leaves are changing and the harvest is being reaped. But the message and the challenge came from a conversation with a colleague in which we both felt that everything – absolutely everything – we have to be thankful about, comes from the resurrection. That moment when the tomb is empty, when life has triumphed over death, when we are reconciled to God, that moment when the world is made new.
Worship was wonderful on Easter Sunday, and then I got some time off to rest and recuperate (Easter takes a lot out of us clergy folk!). And as the week progressed, I realized over and over again how much I had to be grateful for – how many moments in which and for which I could give thanks.
Here are a few of the highlights:
Driving to my folks’ place for Easter dinner with my dear friends, Luke and Naiel (and Koski, of course!):
Easter dinner with family and friends:
Walks with Koski and Gambler and Luke and Naiel:
Singing with Dad:
Celebrating a friend’s birthday:
Worshipping at The Meeting House Uptown Toronto:
And the unexpected gift of spending an afternoon singing with friends:
These really are just the highlights. There were also wonderful naps (rest!), movies enjoyed with friends, some hard workouts at the gym (getting stronger!), Starbucks runs, time to veg on the couch at home, and time to prepare healthy food for the week ahead.
My cup runneth over with good things.
And I find myself back to more normal routines and ready to serve God with energy and joy that only comes from having some down-time.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17 NIV
So, quite simply, I say: thank you, Lord.