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19

The following blog entry was written by Dr. Cameron H. J. Jorgenson. Dr. Jorgenson is our Assistant Professor of Theology and Ethics. 

 

It’s that time of year; midterms are over and the final papers and exams loom on the horizon. The mere thought of what lies ahead can be exhausting! Providential, isn’t it, that this is the moment that we pause to give thanks to God for the many blessings we enjoy?
 
Soon our community will give thanks together by gathering for a worship service and a meal. We will offer prayers and sing songs of thanks. We will enjoy turkey with the trimmings and student-made desserts.  Those celebrating will include faculty and staff, students and alumni, and even a group of prospective students discerning whether they may be called to join us on the journey of theological education. Every one of us will bring to that corporate expression of gratitude a litany of personal blessings.
 
This year, I am particularly aware of the gifts that I have received: 
·         Another day to draw a breath and be a part of God’s good work in the world
·         A family who loves me and a church family that has welcomed me
·         The joy of working at the Divinity School alongside Kelly, my wife, and a host of good friends
·         The stunning privilege of studying and teaching theology
·         The equally stunning gift of fulfilling that calling here at Campbell Divinity School
What can one do in light of so many good gifts but to live in thankfulness? To use an old term, it is an “embarrassment of riches.”
 
The most significant book I have read in the past year, one that speaks beautifully to the issue of thanksgiving, is Alexander Schmemann’s For the Life of the World.  Using the Greek word for thankfulness (“eucharist,” a word that became identified with the Lord’s Supper in the early church) Schmemann summarizes the meaning of life: “real life is ‘eucharist,’ a movement of love and adoration toward God, the movement in which alone the meaning and value of all that exists can be revealed and fulfilled,” (34). 
 
It is in gratitude that life in its fullness is discovered, because it is in and through thankfulness that the radical gratuity of our lives is discovered. We come to see that it’s all grace. As we gather around the table together in the coming days, may that realization take hold of us!
 
For all of these things, “thanks be to God!”
 

 

 

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