“Redeemer Lives!” November 25, 2017

Click here to read “Redeemer Lives!” Nov 25, 2017

Gratitude and Silence

Usually after the Marin Interfaith Thanksgiving Eve service I like to take what I call an “Interfaith Selfie” that includes a Buddhist, a Jew, and an Episcopal priest. This year, I took a selfie with two members of the Marin Episcopal Youth Group who have been serving the hungry and homeless once a month with the Marin Street Chaplaincy for several years now. One youth group member, Otis (in the middle of the pic), spoke at the Thanksgiving Eve service and expressed how deeply he felt connected with others through the communal practice of silence. (The former street chaplain Paul Gaffney later told me that he thinks Otis will grow up to be a Zen Buddhist priest.) Our Thanksgiving Eve service began with Br. Rich Atkinson inviting us to connect with God, ourselves, one another, and with the many blessings we take for granted by guiding us in a time of communal silence and Centering Prayer. I look forward to hearing more from our resident Franciscan this Sunday as we celebrate Christ the King and as we prepare for the Advent season. A couple Sundays ago, Deacon Alberta Buller also invited us to spend some time each day in quiet prayer. I can’t think of a better way to observe the Advent season than by spending some time in prayerful silence each day. And one great way to keep our minds from getting too distracted in times of silence is to simply count our many blessings. As Brother David Steindl-Rast says, “It is not happiness that makes us grateful. It is gratefulness that makes us happy. Every moment is a gift.” So I invite us to receive the gift of this moment and the many joy-filled moments of this Thanksgiving weekend by simply holding them with gratitude and silence.

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