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Sunday Summary

Say It Loud

Say It Loud

Between cutting the grass in the back yard and tackling the larger front yard I took a break when Pam chimed in that Tom Power was about to interview Katy Perry on CBC.

I’ve always been enamored with Tom Power’s interview style. Some of it might be because we both share a Newfie heritage. The other may be that he makes me proud to be a Canadian when celebrities end their interviews by saying that Tom can call back anytime. They are as much as saying that his style is always well researched, and most complimentary to his guests.

As for Katy Perry, even when she came on the scene 10 years ago, I was already past the age where I could name her hit songs although not old enough t0 not recognize her voice and music.

What has probably intrigued me about Katy is that we both were raised in the Pentecostal Church and we have both moved somewhat from their fundamentalist mind set about God.

Katy has continued believing in a loving God who powers our lives in love and grace. I like that. That’s the God I serve as well, through the life of Jesus who came to make that loving God known.

Katy says that she has had struggles in her life, times of discouragement and even depression. Even with her success as a pop star and the significant financial gain she has received she readily gives credit to her acceptance of God’s love and care for the stability she has at times had to work to regain.

Towards the end of the interview, Tom suggested that what he was hearing from her was an overwhelming sense of gratitude for everything, even her rather strict religious upbringing and the difficulties that fame has brought into her life.

Katy’s last comment was that she begins every morning, even before she reaches for her phone, with the statement. “Thank you God for today, I am grateful in every way.” Tom replied with the thought that if you say it louder it can have a greater effect.  

Gratitude. I’ve spoken on it often. It’s one of the major themes of the Bible, both Old and New Testament. Looking back however, most of these messages I have shared with you have been when everything is going well in most of our lives. Perhaps it’s time to reflect once again on the key verses in Scripture that drive home the benefit of being thankful as we are all dealing with the daily difficulty of living with the isolation and restrictions on our lives that Covid-19 has inflicted on us.       

I referenced the Old and New Testament earlier. In the Hebrew Scriptures there are more than a hundred mentions of giving thanks. We often think of the Old Testament prophets as being voices of doom and gloom for the nation of Israel. They did take on that role, but their vitriol was directed against the rulers, the executives in their comfortable corner offices as well as the priests. The prophets said that these people had forgotten about the way that Yahweh had instructed them to govern with a focus on supporting the poor and the visitors in their midst.

Makes me think the world needs a new batch of angry prophets standing in the city centres and reminding the governors and religious folk that they are missing the mark. But I digress.

The prophets did talk about thankfulness. Jeremiah was one of the first to say that we are to be thankful to God.

“Give thanks to the Lord Almighty, for the Lord is good his love endures forever.” 

Jeremiah 33:11

That theme was then picked up by the poets who wrote most of the Psalms.

Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise;
give thanks to Him and praise His name.
For the Lord is good and His love endures forever;
His faithfulness continues through all generations.

Psalm 100

That theme of giving thanks to God because God is good shows up at least another 30 times in the Psalms, depending on which translation you choose.

Then there’ my favourite from the New Testament. In his letter to the church at Thessalonica Paul makes the following outlandish statement.

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Paul doesn’t say, “Let me share with you a good idea I’ve learned on the road”? He’s more forceful than that when he says be thankful thru it all, whatever the circumstance, such as Covid-19, for it’s not only a healthy way to live it‘s actually how we should live as God’s people. We are called to be thankful.

There’s great psychology in this verse. Be thankful and be in a good place mentally.

Be ungrateful and be stressed.

Let me finish with Tom and Katy.

”Thank you God for today, I am grateful in every way.”

Say it loud.

Pastor Lloyd