Pause. Take the deepest breath you've taken all day.

Use this moment to choose stillness in the midst of news and crisis.

Place yourself into the story – into God's story.

Let God enter your mind and your heart today.

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Give thanks to the Lord because he is good, because his faithful love lasts forever. Let Israel say it: “God’s faithful love lasts forever!”

Open the gates of righteousness for me so I can come in and give thanks to the Lord! This is the Lord’s gate; those who are righteous enter through it.

I thank you because you answered me, because you were my saving help. The stone rejected by the builders is now the main foundation stone! This has happened because of the Lord; it is astounding in our sight! This is the day the Lord acted; we will rejoice and celebrate in it!

Psalm 118:1-2, 19-24

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“Give thanks to the Lord...” This feels like an invitation AND a reminder of the calling to lead, learn, and live with a constant running sense of gratitude for life. And for God’s faithful love.

As the world seems to be spinning out of control, there is much to grieve, much to worry about. And so we need this invitation and this reminder this week to practice gratitude.

It’s right here in the psalm: God’s opening the gates to a place where possibility for life and goodness exists. And we need to be aware of this and to speak of it. We need to say “thank you” – to God, to each other, to the ones who inspire us and challenge us, to the ones who are working to free those who do not feel free. We say “thank you” and “thank you God” for placing these people in our hearts.

It’s a strange and almost unexplainable thing. Saying “thank you” to someone else or being thankful on purpose, WITH purpose, can literally open our hearts and minds to actually being more thankful. Maybe this is what the writer of this psalm is inviting us to do. Say the words. Let the words lead to action. Be thankful today.

Gina Yeager-Buckley

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Thank you, God. Thank you, God. Thank you, God. Where there are holes in my feelings of gratitude, I ask that you help me fill them. You have given me this life to live. I don’t always feel glad and grateful. Sometimes gratitude gets covered by grief. I know that you are there. Always there. And for even this I say, “Thank you, God.” Amen.

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Go into the next moment of your life with a sense of celebration, of gratitude, of curiosity, and with the knowledge that you are a part of God’s story. Each and every line of it.

Gina Yeager-Buckley

Gina Yeager-Buckley serves the national branch of the Presbyterian Church (USA) as the Associate for Presbyterian Youth and Triennium. Gina lives and works in Louisville, Kentucky and imagines that she will always be an accompanier of young people in some way.

Quiet Contemplation

John Morton

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