I recently began bullet journaling. It is a process described in its most basic form by modern creator/guru Ryder Carrol . I have incorporated more artistic ways of keeping track of schedule, time, lists, etc. (more along the line of Boho berry )

image One of my favorite things to keep up with is a gratitude log. My gratitude long is a small way everyday to find people/things/events/conveniences I am thankful for and take note in a tangible way. There are some days when this is ridiculously easy to do, and others where gratitude seems to be the most difficult thing to find. But there is always something to be thankful for, even if sometimes it’s just the ability to take a breath or think clearly enough to search for gratitude.
In our Revised Common Lectionary readings we find a thread of thanksgiving in the midst of all circumstances.
In Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7 God tells the people to build buildings and buy land even though they are in exile. Their well being will be tied to the wellbeing of the nation in which they dwell. A good reminder to all of us whose citizenship is in the kingdom of heaven but dwell in earthly lands where other powers reside. We should offer gratitude for these lands and lift them up to God in prayer.
In Psalm 66:1-12 the psalmist sends out a call of gratitude reminding the author and the people of God that God has been faithful and will continue to be faithful, even in the highest of waves and the darkest of nights. A good word for all of us as we begin efforts to help Haiti and other countries begin to recover from hurricane Matthew.
2 Timothy 2:8-15 remind disciples of the Christ that even in their suffering there are many things to be thankful for, especially the salvation given through Christ.
Luke 17:11-19 tells the story of the ten lepers who were healed by Jesus. Only one of them, a Samaritan, returns to give thanks for his healing. I find it particularly interesting that the one that returns is the Samaritan, an outcast among outcasts. What might that mean in our current contexts?
Today I am starting my second day of vacation. While it has been far from perfect, a late arrival, sick child, wicked sunburn, 6 people in a small RV, the death of a church member; I am grateful.
I am grateful for a few days off of my everyday schedule.
I am grateful that my parents have this RV and are willing to let me and my children invade it for a while.
I am grateful for the beautiful sunrises and sunsets I’ve witnessed.
I’m grateful for being able to see the beach through my children’s eyes.
I’m thankful for a spouse who encouraged me to take this trip even though he could not get the time off of work to join us.
I am grateful for the women answering phones, taking food, watering plants at church so that I could leave.
I am grateful for technology that allows me to write and study miles away from my office.
I am grateful for all of you; faithful preachers and teachers who will study and bring God’s word to God’s people; for the community gathered here that surrounds us all with support we sometimes lack in real life.
I am grateful. i AM grateful. I am GRATEFUL.

The Reverend Cardelia Howell-Diamond (blogger known as RevHD or cpclergymama) is a Cumberland Presbyterian Minister currently serving a congregation in Alabama. While a part of her heart resides in Texas, the land of her birth, the rest of her lives with her clergyman husband and their three littles ages 11,8, and 4. Cardelia posts sermons at randomrevhd.blogspot.com  and has links there to her publications.

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8 thoughts on “Revised Common Lectionary: With Gratitude

  1. Have you read the book ‘One Thousand Gifts’ by Ann Voskamp? It is a book about keeping track of small things for which one is grateful. She weaves parts of her life story through it, I highly recommend it.


  2. I’m a bullet journaler too!!
    I have the above mentioned book ‘One Thousand Gifts’ on my shelf. I’m going to start reading today! What an inspiration this post is for me!


  3. Thanks, Cardelia. I’m focused on the lepers for this Sunday, and I’m bringing a “sustainable sermon” into the present moment. One of the things that concerns me about our current rhetoric in the U.S. is the way we turn words around to such an extent that we achieve cognitive dissonance. To hear the political talk you might think that people who are actually privileged are the ones at a disadvantage. I’m also working with a congregation that while not outcast is beginning to talk about what it might mean to be cast out, as they consider whether the church has a future. I’m sensitive to their feelings but also need to make sure those feelings get felt, if you know what i mean.


  4. I was gobsmacked when I read the Jeremiah passage, as I’d simply never come across it before, which is unusual for me. Thought I’d read all of Jeremiah, but obviously not! Anyway, I’m preaching on it – it’s a parade service, which means the Sea Scouts will be out in force (I hope), so keeping it fairly simple – telling them a bit about the history of the Exile, and then talking about how there are plenty of exiles in this country today, and that we need to make them welcome and help them at school and stuff, and pray for them, and then maybe going on (I’ll see what the word count is) to talk a little about intercessory prayer.


  5. I’m also working on the Jeremiah passage but not very sure of my direction as of yet. My title is “Bloom Where You’re Planted” which is both a mantra of mine, as well as a continuous aspiration. Also keeping in mind that this was disappointing news to Jeremiah’s listeners. I’ve done a lot of reading, with some more to go.


  6. I’m using the complimentary OT track, which gives us 2 Kings and Naaman washing in the river to become clean, along with the Luke reading. Images of baptism are coming to mind, of how God cleanses us in a literal bath and a spiritual bath. Hoping to focus on healing/restoration, but not sure where to start. We do have “Shall We Gather at the River” as the gathering song, so I guess that’s a good lead-in 🙂


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