I'm very excited to announce the topic of our next sermon series for the month of October! Even in normal years, October is a very common time for churches to have stewardship drives or sermon series, and this month is no different. Although, this year I'm taking on the topic of stewardship from the opposite angle. Our second of three fall sermon series is titled The Enemies of Gratitude.
This series offers an opportunity to experience gratitude by hearing about the things that keep us from being truly grateful. In each sermon, we see how a misplaced focus--on how things could be or used to be better, how we're not getting what we think we deserve, or simply how life's struggles are keeping us down--prevents us from seeing all the blessings that are right in front of us. While the Scripture selections move back and forth from the Old Testament to the New, the need for "an attitude of gratitude" is made clear in each week's lection.
Just like adding in the Offering of Thanksgiving in our worship services since we've been back to worship in person helps us to see the positive within the negative, I hope this series will also inspire us all to experience the gratitude we can have in life if we don't focus on the things that keep us from having that outlook. Many of us have had a really difficult year, for a multitude of reasons, but I do thing it's helpful to see that difficulties have been around in various forms throughout the history of humanity, and we'll hear some of those stories in our series in October.
If anything, we can use this month to focus on what our ancestors in the Bible did wrong, or where they could learn a lesson from their mistakes or short-sightedness and focus on having an attitude of gratitude in our current time. By focusing on gratitude we should be able to see where God has been blessing us in our lives and reflecting on ways that we have been giving back to the church and the world, or how we can be doing more to give back.
Giving back out of gratitude does not have to always mean financially, but it can also be by using your skills and abilities to impact the function of the church, or to help others in your neighborhood. We are blessed to be a blessing to others, and I pray that in this next month you will take the time to reflect on how much you have been blessed in your life and whether or not you have been acting as a blessing to others and to your congregation. Good luck with your attitude of gratitude in the month of October!