Posts Tagged ‘ God ’


In a delightful bit of serendipity, I gave a talk to the kids at church on the topic of saying ‘thank you’ for the things we have on Sunday, with no intended connection to this being the week of Thanksgiving in the USA.  To illustrate my point, I had spoken some of the words of ‘Grateful’ by John Bucchino, a beautiful song which says some profound things in a very simple way.  The song lists some of the things we should be thankful for including ‘a warm place to sleep’, ‘a mind that can think’ and ‘a family of friends’ along with ‘a hand holding my hand’.  I was making the point that these, among others, are things that we should be thankful for every day, and we (definitely an inclusive we) are not very good at doing this.

I tend to be thankful about big things.  A new house, a new role in a show, a solution to a problem, that sort of thing.  I often forget to say thank you for simply being alive, for continuing to have a home, a job, friends and a family, my health and most of my faculties.   So in talking to the children about this, I was also challenging myself.

 In the spirit of Thanksgiving, here are a small selection of things that I am thankful for:

  • my ability to perform and entertain, which means I can do some wonderfully fun shows
  • my still new house and the housemates who share it with me
  • the stable state of my mental health at the moment
  • imagination, and all that it enables me to enjoy
  • the beautiful city that I live in

All things that I should thank God for more often than I do, along with those things that I truly need.   Breath, love, hope, food, warmth, water.  I am lucky to have all of these things, which so many people lack.  I leave you with some of the words of John Bucchino:

It’s not that I don’t want a lot
Or hope for more, or dream of more
But giving thanks for what I’ve got
Makes me so much happier than keeping score

. . .

Grateful, grateful
Truly grateful I am
Grateful, grateful
Truly blessed
And duly grateful

Now abiding

‘God with us’, that is, from the lyrics of ‘Angels From the Realms of Glory’, one of my favourite carols (with a tiny bit of poetic licence, since abiding is a much nicer word than residing).  This Christmas, I have been struck many times by the word Emmanuel, one of the names applied to Jesus, which means (or so I’m told, not speaking any of the languages that were spoken at the time of His life) ‘God with us’.  For me, this is the central mystery and magic of Christmas, generally a magical and wonderful time anyway.

Christmas seems to be a time when the important things get overwhelmed by the details and the window dressing, for Christian believers and secular celebrants alike.  Making sure we have the right number of sprouts, the right type of crackers and decorations that fit a colour scheme becomes more important than spending time with the people we love.  People send cards to people they don’t like because they feel they ought to, and buy presents at the last minute for Fred in the office who got them a gift, without putting any thought into it. 

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