Weekly Reflection - 8/18/2022
St. Mary's Reflection: Lynne Dombrowski, Vestry Member
“It is right, and a good and joyful thing, always and everywhere to give thanks to you, Almighty God, Creator of heaven and earth. . . . “
Every Sunday, we hear these words as part of the Great Thanksgiving during Holy Communion, and we proclaim “Thanks be to God” many times throughout the service. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the central role gratitude and being thankful play in our lives of faith as Christians. In these challenging and unsettling times, when the news brings multiple reasons for fear and dismay, we are called to live in God’s presence by being grateful for our being and our world.
Gratitude was described as “The Ultimate Spiritual Practice” in a November 2017 article in Forbes magazine (just in time for Thanksgiving). I find that description to be very simple and yet profound. Gratitude to God requires no special training to master – it requires us to simply be present and to be aware of God’s creation – to know that it is all God’s creation. Listen to your breathing, feel the air on your skin. Observe the clouds and the stars and moon in the sky, the rising and the setting sun, and the plants, trees and flowers that change through the seasons. Each morning as I sit at my computer, I am amazed about the technology, how vast data invisibly surrounds us and is captured through our various devices. What an amazing world we live in. Thanks be to God.
For all of my life, music has always been an important portal to feeling closer to God. Our parish has a long and continuing commitment to music as an important part of our worship practices. Through music, our worship and rituals are enhanced and we can more intensely experience our communal spirituality. After living without in-person church services for about two years because of the pandemic, when we now gather for Sunday services, I have even a greater sense of gratitude for God’s infinite gifts to us, especially the beauty and power of music. Through our communal singing, we magnify our praise and thanks to God.
Every day, I am grateful to God for the friendships and family I have found through this parish and for the gift of music. My gratitude for these blessings, plus a myriad more, draw me to be in closer relationship with God, each step of my life’s journey.
Vestry Member (August 2022)