Gratitude is a positive response shown by the recipient of generosity, towards the giver (Wikipedia).
Several studies on gratitude have noted the positive impact on an individual’s well being. One of the key findings in the process of observing gratitude is that people not only acknowledge the goodness in their lives but also recognize that the source of that goodness is at least partially outside themselves (https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/in-praise-of-gratitude).
Praise is an expression of gratitude to the Giver of Life. We are a few days away from celebrating what we have come to know as Palm Sunday. This is in remembrance of the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. He had done many miracles, taught some valuable lessons in creative ways and raised the hopes of the people of the coming King and Deliverer. The people were excited when they saw Him coming into Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of the Passover. They blessed Him. They raised Palms acknowledging the goodness in their lives, some recognized the source of that goodness. They sang the psalms they would normally sing as they journeyed into Jerusalem for the celebrations.
“Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord;
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” (Luke 19:38)
Some were acknowledging Jesus as the King they had been waiting for. Some were praising Him for the miracles He had done (in anticipation of more).
This sunday as we remember and celebrate what we now call ‘Palm Sunday’ what an incredible opportunity we have, to join in praise. Even as we sit indoors in solitude we can take time to reflect on all the good things in our lives and be grateful to the Giver of life. Let us recognize ‘the source of this goodness in our lives as residing outside of ourselves’ – in the hands of our Creator.
The other day I was at the store buying vegetables, I recognized a man as one who works in the maintenance department of the same college my husband works for. As he headed to the counter I told him I would like to pay for his purchase. He was grateful but I noticed that he had only picked a few things. I told him to get some more since we were unsure how long the lock-down imposed on us was going to last and directed him to more fruits and vegetables. He was very grateful. But the rest of my time at the store was a holy time of gratitude. I was grateful to the Holy Spirit for helping me spot this man, I was grateful to God for giving me the resources to purchase what I needed for my family for more than a few days, I was grateful for a roof over my head… the list went on and on and I started to choke. But these are only some of the things God has done. There is more to be grateful for when I see the heart of my Creator who provides me with all good things. I am undeserving of God’s love for me. My God is good and most definitely worthy of praise!!! What are you grateful for?
If you would like to use this visual to help you praise/list the things you are grateful for, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill the form below. Raise your color pencils or markers and fill in the spaces, write out your praises in the spaces and get all geared up to sing praises to the King of kings riding into your heart and mind so you can be the best you!!!