I want to take just a moment to recount the Lord’s goodness to me. Just as unexpressed honor is dishonor, so also unexpressed gratitude is ingratitude. One of the things that the psalmist knew how to do was itemize (e.g Ps. 136).
The only reference I will make to the tumultuous times in which we live will be here, the first thing mentioned. I am grateful to God that He has placed us in this time, so that we could be faithful to Him in this time. Any other time would have been ill-suited because God does all things well. So instead of asking why God has given “these times” to us, we ought to be asking why God gave us to “these times.” The joy of the Lord is our strength, and is not just what we are fighting for. It is what we are to fight with.
That said, let us move on to the list of blessings to be grateful for.
As I render praise to God, the first thing to note is that He has condescended to be our God, and has given Himself to us in and through Christ. Because it is either Christ or chaos, without Christ we would still be denizens of the chaos, without God and without hope in the world. But as it is, we have a sure word in a dark place. We have a light for our feet, a guide for our path. We are oriented, and we have received full forgiveness for our previous disorientation. So the first thing I am thankful for is what every Christian everywhere is thankful for, and that is the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ, and for the Scriptures that tell us all about it.
And then there is my family, beginning with the central grace of our family, who would of course be Nancy. I do in fact have a crown, and she is it. We have been together coming up on 46 years, and the Lord has been profoundly kind to us in our family. We have three grown children who all married intelligently and well, and we have seventeen grandchildren, from grad school down to first grade, and they all love the Lord. Everyone lives here in Moscow, and we all get together weekly, which gives us plenty of sabbath practice for the Thanksgiving feast we will share this afternoon. Just imagine what the pies are going to be like.
I am privileged to be the pastor of an exuberant and godly and hard-working community of saints. They work as hard as the Ephesians did, and they are not wavering from their first love. The community at Christ Church is a wonderful community. In addition, this community is functioning at the center of a thriving Christian community here in Moscow that is significantly broader than our congregation. And that network of saints is connected to other believers all over the world, and so I am grateful for the Communion of Reformed Evangelical Churches. Those churches have been a real beacon over the last year, utilizing the drastic technique of staying open, despite what the medi-tyrants thought about it.
I am grateful for all the people who have worked alongside me in the reformation of our systems of education, from Logos School, to New St. Andrews, to the Association of Classical Christian Schools. There is so much promise there.
It would be hard for me to express how much I admire the work ethic of the folks at Canon Press. We have been privileged to see a trickle of publications turn into a torrent, and the current worker bees there want to see even that torrent multiply. Stand by, as we used to say in the Navy.
I am really grateful for the faithful cadre of my readers here at Mablog, who come to take in why I have to say. You don’t owe me any attention, and yet you give it. Thank you. I am leaving the comments open so that you can say, “You’re welcome.” I am really grateful that I am not yelling into a can.
Of course the danger that comes with itemizing people that you are grateful for lies in the fact that you are bound to leave somebody out. And so I hereby declare that I am grateful for everybody, and have therefore left nobody out. I am grateful for them all, from my great, great, great grandmother who stopped being coy with my great, great, great grandfather, down to the last person who handed me a sandwich at a drive-through window.
And so I will shift to inanimate tools, because I can’t leave them out, but I will end there. They won’t mind being at the tail end of the list. I am grateful for my truck, for my computers, for my Logos Bible software, for my books—whether paper, digital, or audible, for my three acres, and for batteries. Never forget the batteries.