|"Thank You" |
Some rights reserved (CC-BY) by Virgina L. Sourced from Flickr
I have a habit - a practice - of writing out thank-you cards. I keep a supply of cards at home and at the office, so I can write one anytime.
It's not a lot, but in my opinion it's important.
Especially in the church, when the gifts that people are sharing are a demonstrable response to God's call to the mission and ministry of the community, as a response to highlight the presence of the grace of God: saying 'thank you' acknowledges how important these varied and volunteered ministries have been.
I know how much I like receiving 'thank you's; it shows that someone has taken the time and effort to write out a note expressing their gratitude. They're not always long, they come as cards and emails, hand-written or typed, long or short.
The important thing is: they happen, and they make me feel good.
I also, sadly, know what it is like to do something for which appreciation is NOT expressed. It's a feeling of deflation and rejection; as though the offering itself was unwanted or undeserving.
It's not a feeling one ever wants.
It's not a feeling that we, as Christians, should accept.
Instead, imagine if we would "serve the Lord your God with joyfulness and gladness of heart, because of the abundance of all things" (from Deut. 28). We can intentionally strive to be the type of community the sees the gifts being offered, and acknowledges them. We can celebrate that people have chosen to give their time and talent for the building up of God's kingdom. We can delight in the opportunity to offer our thanksgiving to God through our ministry to one another. And we can take the moment to support the members of God's church for their offerings: even with a simple thank you note.