(Leader) Heavenly Father, we come before you to give thanks as we near the end of 2020 a year of confusion, conflict, CoronaVirus, quarantine, and shut down, But what does it even look like to be truly thankful in 2020?
(People) Lord, help us find gratitude in this year of brokenness.
(L) Gratitude for a year of pruning and suffering? A year of pain and wounding? Wounds found in the loss of jobs, loss of security, sickness, and disease. Wounds from seeing loved ones die at a distance. Wounds of division, strife, injustice, and violence. Wounds from political pride and tirades among family, friends, and fellow believers. Long forgotten wounds exposed and unearthed in the quiet of quarantine. Wounds broken open. Broken apart. Brokenness that can’t be put back together again.
But you God, command us to be thankful in ALL circumstances.
(P) Lord, we’ve been fearful and uncertain. Yet, our hearts still believe you’re good.
(L) For the gifts of suffering hide in our pain and require work to unearth. Gratitude that ignores pain is neither hard-won nor true. Nor is a joy that denies sorrow real joy at all. So what gifts have we to be truly thankful for in the grief of 2020?
(P) So what gifts have we to be thankful for?
Leader: As our world came to a stop, we were humbled. Stripped of our routines, our calendars suddenly empty, we were forced to slow down. We were invited to rediscover what really matters in life – family, friendship, and faith.
(P) Thank you, God, for slowing us down so we could rediscover what really matters.
(L) As our Nation and World grew hostile and divided, we were able to recognize our own brokenness and need. My fear, resentment, hateful words, and critical spirit were exposed. Humbled and in need of grace, I saw you as the only one who could cleanse my troubled heart.
(P) Thank you, God, for the gift of repentance & restoration.
Leader: In our isolation, we felt alone and uncertain. And yet found that You were near. You were near in my questions, my grief, my struggles, and my frustrations.
(P) Thank you, God, that you are faithful and you are with me.
(L) In the brokenness of this world, Your love still remains. You have compassion for the lowly, the lost, the broken, and the burdened. JUST. LIKE. ME. It is your unfailing love that changes our hearts and increases our capacity to love others. Though I deserved nothing, you have given me everything.
Thank you, God, for the gift of genuine love.
Heavenly Father, this year has been hard, exposing, and stripped so much from us. Yet, we thank you for all that you are and all that you have done.
To our God who comforts all who mourn, gives beauty for ashes, and joy for mourning; we say thank You.
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