I don’t know about you, but I found clapping the NHS on Thursday night very emotional. As I opened my front door, a massive firework boomed in the air to signal the start of it, and I was amazed to see every family, person and their dogs, standing outside clapping. There was a real sense of community and thanksgiving for our wonderful NHS.
It took me back to the time I was part of a short term team in Ibiza with 24/7 Prayer, and one of the things with did each day was to join with thousands of others on a beach in San An, with some chilled tunes playing in the background, watching the most beautiful sunset. When the sun eventually set, the thousands of people there, clapped and cheered. This was known as clapping the sun and happened every day. The thousands gathered there were in awe of the beauty of creation. The 24/7 Team were in awe of creation, but ultimately the creator and were clapping our thanks and praise to him.
There is something powerful about saying thank you and acknowledging someone else’s contribution to the world or to our lives. If you look at the letters Paul wrote to local churches in the New Testament, he always has something positive to say to them and what he is thankful for. In Philippians Chapter 1 we read:
3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Can you imagine receiving a letter from Paul that says he is thankful for you and prays with joy because of the impact they have had on his life and on his ministry? Wow!
I wonder who we could thank today? A family member, a friend, a neighbour, someone who has encouraged you, someone who is serving you at the shops? I went to Sainsburys on Saturday and I wanted to say thank you to every staff member I saw (obviously from 2 metres away!). I wanted them to know I was so grateful for their work as it meant the store could open and we could get food. The smiles and appreciation on their faces was incredible. I hope it felt good for them, but it also blessed and encouraged me to see their reaction.
It’s just about saying thank you for being you and thank you for all that you do to make my life better. You might want to be specific. If someone cooks you a meal, tidies up or does something else for you, just spend a few moments saying thank you for doing that, I really appreciate it. Who are the people in our lives we want to say thank you to? Let’s encourage them and make their day by telling them they are valued; they are appreciated, and we have noticed them and are grateful.
Once we’ve worked out who we are going to thank, lets add God on to that list a spend a few moments thanking him for being so awesome and amazing too!