As part of the Thanksgiving season, Ogilvie focuses on gratitude
"An Attitude of Gratitude" was the theme of a message delivered by celebrated preacher, author, and former U.S. Senate Chaplain Lloyd John Ogilvie in an all-seminary chapel Wednesday, November 19.
The subject of gratitude is fitting in this season of Thanksgiving—"but we are grateful to God not because it is on the calendar, but because it is the very essence of the Christian faith," proclaimed Ogilvie. He offered three primary points about gratitude: "God desires it, we require it, and other people never tire of it!"
God created us in such a way that giving gratitude is one of the major callings of the Christian life, Ogilvie said on the first point, referring to the Gospel story of the one leper out of ten who returned to give his thanks to Jesus. "Give thanks to the Lord: he desires it," Ogilvie exhorted. "Isn’t it wonderful to know there’s something we can do for the Lord, who has been so good to us?"
About his second point—"we require it"—Ogilvie said, "I know of no other way to get beyond our hubris and sense of entitlement than to acknowledge that everything we have and are is because of him." We must be willing to be grateful even for the painful and difficult things in our life, said Ogilvie, and thereby find release: "When you can thank God for a problem, you can let go of it."
Finally, "expressing gratitude to other people acknowledges their worth and gives them affirmation that is wonderful"—even if it’s just to say, "Thanks for being you," declared Ogilvie. "It is the motive of our ministry to let people know how great they are and how grateful we are to God for them. We are to wash people’s feet—and that means listening, loving, caring, and giving ourselves away."
"Lord, reach into us and pull out that dogged sense of entitlement," Ogilvie prayed in conclusion. "Make us so amazed at what you have done that out of this would flow a deep, abiding, indefatigable gratitude for the people around us. We set aside this day to express that gratitude to others and to simply say, ‘Thanks for being you.’"