Giving thanks is not a virtue. It is one of our needs, and we do it not for God’s sake, but for our own. We need to be thankful as much as we need food and clothing, family and friends and all the other necessities of life. If we don’t get to be thankful, we may enjoy some of God’s gifts but miss the best one of all—the Giver. Without the gift of gratitude, God’s other gifts are likely to degenerate into mere possessions, which are as likely to possess us as we are to possess them.
This message is adapted from “The Grand Giver” written by Karen Melang in the November 1992 issue of Lutheran Woman Today (now Gather) magazine. Today we remember Birgitta of Sweden, renewer of the church, who died in 1373.