Gratitude is the shout of joy that creates space in our lives and in our world for the light of the world to come and fill us.
Yet, there is so much noise in our world today.
Ever been with a group of people who all seem to be talking at the same time. The more people talk the louder everybody becomes just to be heard. No one plans to increase the noise level it just does.
We are inundated by people and groups turning up the volume to be heard. There are so many competing demands for our attention: buy this, listen to me, agree with me, see how bad all those other people are.
“Quiet!” we cry out.
“Silence!” we shout.
The world doesn’t need more noise, we say. We yearn for silence.
We want to escape the noise. And if the volume doesn’t turn down we stop listening. Our voice is left unheard. The whisper of our Beloved is lost.
Yet, when we consider gratitude and thanksgiving silence is not an option. Hope invites us to dance with exuberance to the melody of Joy.
Shout triumphantly to the Lord, all the earth!
Serve the Lord with celebration!
Come before him with shouts of joy! — Psalm 100:1-2 CEB
There is something about the nature of gratitude and joy that creates a different kind of shout of celebration.
Unlike the shouts of those who stir up a mob so they can feel powerful (which usually ends in destruction), gratitude affirms the movement of life that reveals blessedness.
Gratitude is a shout of light in the darkness.
Come alive! Wake up to the Presence of God.
There is a wonderful spontaneity to those shouts of gratitude. Ever watch true sports fans? When their team wins, they can’t keep still.
Nor can they keep it to themselves.
Gratitude and celebration create community.
Thanksgiving is personal, but it is not private. Joy is meant to be shared. What better way to share it than with a shout and dance! Fans jump and dance and hug even complete strangers in contagious thanksgiving.
I have seen empty, sleepy people spark alive when a child comes along with the smile of innocent life. Even in the midst of profound grief, the presence of a baby breathes hope on all present. There might be death, but thank God there is still life.
“Join the Joy!” gratitude shouts.
Good news spreads through thanksgiving.
There is something wonderfully expansive about gratitude. When you experience joy you want others to share in it. When you experience a gratitude that frees you from your own inhibitions and self-consciousness, you reach out to others.
Gratitude energizes our evangelism.
Light by its very nature spreads out and touches all things in its circle. Everyone and everything that is near the light is affected. Thanksgiving and joy are that light of life in all of our relationships.
“I am the light of the world.” Jesus says in John 9:5. That light energy shows us how the Jesus community grew. There were no evangelistic campaigns or marketing strategies to spread the good news of new life in Christ. All they had and needed was joy, gratitude, and thanksgiving.
The world does not need more voices that add to the noise of “look at me” or the shadow of condemnation.
Yet, it needs the shouts, songs, and dances of your gratitude! Be a clarion call of joy. “You are the Light of the World!” (Matthew 5:14-16) Celebrate!