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No Obstacles to Salvation Here - Lectionary Reflection for Pentecost 4B (2 Corinthians 6)

  Paul - Rembrandt 2 Corinthians 6:1-13 New Revised Standard Version 6  As we work together with him, we urge you also not to accept the grace of God in vain.  2  For he says, “At an acceptable time I have listened to you,     and on a day of salvation I have helped you.” See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation!  3  We are putting no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry,  4  but as servants of God we have commended ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities,  5  beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger;  6  by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, holiness of spirit, genuine love,  7  truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left;  8  in honor and dishonor, in ill repute and good repute. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true;  9  as unknown, and yet are well known; as dying, and

Giving Thanks with My Whole Heart

I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart;

    before the gods I sing your praise;
I bow down toward your holy temple
    and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness;
    for you have exalted your name and your word
    above everything.[a]
On the day I called, you answered me,
    you increased my strength of soul.[b]
All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O Lord,
    for they have heard the words of your mouth.
They shall sing of the ways of the Lord,
    for great is the glory of the Lord.   (Psalm 138:1-5 NRSV)

It is Thanksgiving morning, and I do have much to be thankful for. I have good health, a family I love, a place of employment. I am fortunate. Part of that fortune is due to factors beyond my control -- place of birth, ethnicity, maleness, etc. It's not that I've not had my struggles, for I have. It is not that I am always deserving, because I am not. But I have experienced a life of blessing.  I recognize that not everyone shares in this blessing. There are reasons for sharing words of (un)gratitude, which Rev. Mindi has done with forthrightness.  I share her concerns about the proliferation of violence in our society and the ongoing realities of poverty and racism afflicting our nation.  People around this country and across the globe suffer in ways I can imagine but have not experienced.  I must keep in mind these realities even as I share my own words of thanksgiving.

With keen awareness of my own situation in life, I join the Psalmist in giving thanks to God with my whole heart.  I give thanks to God for God's steadfast love and faithfulness.  Great is the glory of the Lord.  


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