As the ten good words of God are heard again this autumn, this Sunday we arrive at ‘You shall not covet’. There is little at first that seems relevant to this Thanksgiving weekend. ‘Covet’ conjures up thoughts of individual acts and objects, but is actually an inclination of the human heart that shapes whole lives and cultures. It is born of our innate insecurity and becomes our need to possess and control, at any cost.
In fact the relevancy of this good word is deep, for the only alternative to covetousness is … thanksgiving! This is why the first Christians were exhorted to ‘give thanks in all circumstances’ (I Thessalonians 5: 14-18). It is only the spiritual discipline of thanksgiving that frees us from the fears and insecurities and powers that otherwise rule us. It is only thanksgiving that lifts us out of little selves and opens us to trust God, and to serve neighbour. It is in thanksgiving that we find freedom.
If you are around Kingston this weekend, be sure to join us … in thanksgiving. (Scroll down to see the Order of Worship – with a nursery for infants with certified caregiver, a programme for children during the service, great hymns to be sung, and a gospel to enjoyed)
And consider lifting up a prayer of thanksgiving this weekend:
Blessed be you, Lord God of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth and makes glad the heart of humanity.
Ancient Hebrew prayer
Give us grace, O Lord, to be ever thankful for your providence, with hearts always ready to provide for the needs of others.
Francis of Assisi (1182-1226)
You who have given so much to me,
Give me one thing more,
a grateful heart, for Christ’s sake.
George Herbert (1593-1633)
All good gifts around us
are sent from heaven above;
so thank the Lord, O thank the Lord,
for all his love.
Matthias Claudius (1740-1815)
For food and drink and friends, we give thanks. Bless, O Lord, our table; deepen our gratitude; enlarge our sympathies and order our affections in generous and unselfish lives, for Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen
Robert Runcie (1921-2000)