Revisiting the “Thankful 30”
Happy Thanksgiving Eve! I hope you’re able to make it to tonight’s Thanksgiving Eve worship service at 7:00. I’m looking forward to sharing some insight into the way that gratitude transforms us. It should be a good one!
Speaking of thanksgiving, Thanksgiving, and the coming season of Advent:
have you had a chance to write your “Thankful 30” Advent calendar yet?
(Check out last week’s Central Thoughts to find out what I’m talking about…but I didn’t think of that catchy name until this week!)
I haven’t yet written one for me personally, but I have written one for me as your pastor. So here are 30 things I’m thankful for about you, that I’ll be praying for day by day from Black Friday through Christmas. There are no names and not all of these will apply to you, but collectively, this is (some of) what I’m thankful for about you (there’s more than 30, and these are in no particular order!):
1. For participating on our Greeting team, in order to make Central more welcoming place on Sunday mornings.
2. For keeping our property looking so beautiful with fresh flowers, trimmed bushes, and watered plants.
3. For the kids who run around and fill the building with joy on Sunday mornings.
4. Our deacons, for their wisdom and love for this church.
5. For the way you use your musical gifts to lead the church in worship.
6. For keeping the building clean, organized, and ready for guests.
7. For inviting people to join us, and for welcoming them in when they do.
8. Our trustees, for work around the building that no one even notices.
9. Our deaconesses, for providing food and hospitality week after week.
10. For giving of yourself to teach, care for, and raise up our kids.
11. For making a lot of noise during Central Youth (seriously, I love every minute of it!)
12. For the wisdom you share at bible study.
13. For the way you open your hearts and lives to me, and to one another.
14. Our mission & evangelism team, for working and dreaming on how to move beyond our walls.
15. For all of the behind the scenes work you do (and there’s A LOT of it!).
16. For your generosity with my family, and the way you’ve made us feel at home.
17. For giving so much of yourself when you serve those who are in need and who are outside of the church.
18. For seeking God’s Word together in our bible studies.
19. For continuing at Central, even though you’re not crazy about some of the changes.
20. For coming to Central, even though you’re new to it and don’t know what changes I’m talking about.
21. Our Christian Education team, for caring so deeply about our little ones.
22. For those ad-hoc teams that form to decorate for Christmas (looks great!).
23. For praying for the future and direction of the church faithfully.
24. For praying for one another.
25. For praying for me and my family.
26. For the appreciation I felt in October!
27. For your support and enthusiasm behind my ideas.
28. For the honesty and wisdom you share with me.
29. For the way you love God.
30. For the way you love God by loving your neighbor as yourself.
Like I said, there’s more than that. But I will be thanking God for each of these, one by one, day by day through Christmas – in order to “keep alert with thanksgiving” through this holiday season.
Wherever you find yourself tomorrow, have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I hope your day is filled with laughter, delicious food, and loving family (I also hope for a Giants win, but I seriously have my doubts…).
Thank you for being such a wonderful people to shepherd, lead, and do life with.
Matt Agresti, Pastor.