I just read a cute story about gratitude that I think can teach us something.
Apparently in San Francisco, on the day after Christmas, the pastor of a church was looking over their nativity scene when he noticed that the baby Jesus was missing from among the figures. “That’s strange,” he thought. “Who would steal Jesus?”
He hurried outside to try and find the thief and what he came across was a little boy with a red wagon, and in the wagon was the figure of the baby Jesus.
He walked up to the boy and said, “Well, where did you get Him, my fine friend?” The little boy replied, “I got him from the church.” “And why did you take him?” The boy said, “Well, about a week before Christmas I prayed to the little Lord Jesus and I told him if he would bring me a red wagon for Christmas I would give him a ride around the block in it.”
I like the story. Well, not that I think it’s cool to steal Jesuses or even to pray to figurines. I like it because of what it teaches us about gratitude.
I respect the little guy in the story first for being grateful for what he received and for following up on his promise.
We can learn from that. To be grateful and appreciative for all that people do for us and that we receive. And also to be grateful for all that we receive from God.
It’s spring. The snow is gone, the sun is warm, the bird’s are back, and everything around us is simply glorious. We get out to walk, to bike, even to garden, to enjoy it.
Our little story can remind us to give thanks to the God who provides all this. This is his world, and it’s him who provides the wonder of spring. And so it’s him who deserves our thanks and praise.
Have you, have I, given thanks for spring?
One more thing. If we enjoy the beauty and wonder of creation and spring, maybe we could also use a reminder that the One who provides it has something still better for us. Something still more glorious and wonderful, namely, himself.
All the good things God gives are a reflection of what he is like. They’re an invitation to us all to get to know him.
Being a Christian seems to be less attractive these days. People see it as restricting their fun and freedom. Hardly.
Instead we ought to see it as it is. To believe in Christ is to be reconciled to God and to enter a relationship with him. You see, if you love spring, if you love creation (God’s gift), believe me, you’ll love the Giver.
Pastor Clarence Witten