Grateful and Longing Hearts
A belated happy Thanksgiving to you! We hope your day was filled with much joy, as was ours. Thanksgiving gives us a great opportunity to reflect with gratitude on our many blessings. And there are so many! Enjoy some pics of our Thanksgiving celebration, complete with turkey and all the trimmings…and many prayers of gratitude!
Our candidate Jennifer made party favor bags for everyone, with little goodies in them. Among the goodies were some unique hershey kisses! She took out the little hershey flag and replaced them with tiny pieces of tissue paper upon which were written verses from the Scriptures that reflect the theme of thanksgiving. As you might imagine, many of the verses came from the Psalms which offer us so many different modes of expressing our gratitude to God for His goodness and His mercy:
Here’s one of my favorites…psalm 100
Shout joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
serve the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful song.
Know that the LORD is God,
he made us, we belong to him,
we are his people, the flock he shepherds.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him, bless his name;
good indeed is the LORD,
His mercy endures forever,
His faithfulness lasts through every generation.
This same Psalm is a beautiful one to pray during the Holy Season of Advent. It is a season of such anticipation! A season of mercy and faithfulness! Christmas is the actual ‘entering of the gates with thanksgiving, his courts with praise’ – the court of our Baby King being, of course, the humble stable in Bethlehem, his throne a wooden trough. Advent is the time to be prepared for such a moment of adoration, a time to nurture the ‘longing’ that we find growing in our hearts…a longing to belong to be His, to welcome Him, to adore Him as the shepherds did. I recently read that the tone of Advent is to be one of ‘restrained joy’ – like a mother awaiting the birth of her child. It is a waiting that is joyful, but restrained. Anticipating with love. How beautiful!
To conclude, we are GRATEFUL to Pope Francis and we are LONGING for 2015. Any guesses why that might be? Well, if you’ve been keeping up on the Catholic news then you know why. And if you haven’t, then check out this link and you’ll find out!!!