Is it really possible to “give thanks in all circumstances…,” as St. Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 5:18? Ask the children who live in the Methodist Children’s Homes all over South Georgia. Recently Sherrill and I had the privilege of attending a Thanksgiving Banquet at the main campus in Macon. After a delicious meal the children shared their personal thanksgivings: for the love they receive from the staff, for those who are like parents to them on a daily basis, for God, for Jesus Christ, and for their own families. Already in their young lives each one of these children has faced a unique set of challenges. Yet they are giving thanks in all circumstances. Why? Because the connectional system of The United Methodist Church has given them a physical home and a spiritual home.
Is it possible to give thanks in all circumstances? Ask those who have found homes at Wesley Glen, Magnolia Manor, Vashti, or Rose Hill. In each of these ministries you will find men and women who are giving thanks to God in all circumstances. Why? Because the connectional system of The United Methodist Church has given them homes that meet their physical and spiritual needs.
Is it possible to give thanks in all circumstances? Ask those living in the areas of South Georgia most affected by Hurricane Michael. Surrounded by fallen trees, damaged homes and vehicles, and destroyed crops, I met United Methodists who said, “We give thanks for the way our church family is caring for us.” Thankful in all circumstances. Why? Because they are part of the connectional system of The United Methodist Church, and they love it.
I am grateful to our Lord Jesus Christ for allowing me to be part of a worldwide community of faith - The United Methodist Church - giving children, youth, and adults a reason to “give thanks in all circumstances.”
Alive Together in Thanksgiving,
R. Lawson Bryan