I carry the picture in my heart of the sweet and intimate relationship going on all the time between Jesus and His Father. The Father so willing to pour everything into His Son and the Son, so ready to receive it and give everything back without condition.
Here we see the beautiful truth that our Christian spirituality is both incarnational and relational. God created us but also yearns for us. God is the giver of life and love. We are the receivers. When we offer back our love in humble gratitude, we become the giver, and God becomes the receiver. Paradoxical, yes, but true, for it is in giving that we receive. Thus the cycle of love is completed.
As I slowly woke up and walked with gratitude into the beauty that is God, everything changed. I began to sense the sweet possibility of this intimate sharing relationship, of seeing with new eyes, new proportions, new depths, and new light. The more I saw Love, the more I returned love, and the more I sensed the warmth of God’s presence with me, affirming me, gathering all of my joy and suffering and sorrow into His tender embrace. I was finally awake and overflowing with gratitude. Drawn by the Spirit with Jesus into God, I was caught up in the flow of love. The ultimate end of all our spiritual journeys is this intimate union with the Divine.
We, as God’s chosen, must aspire to live in this relationship of giving and receiving all the time by continually coming to prayer with a humble heart, giving thanks for whatever happens in our lives, regardless of how it looks to us. This flow of love then spirals higher and higher until our gratitude becomes the reflection of God’s mercy. It is this which makes us like Him. Imago Dei.
Remember that everything that is is a divine gift. Every breath we draw is a gift and every moment of our existence is grace. Thus, our sacrifice of thanksgiving implies not just a quick word of thanks, but rather that we give our whole lives over to be offered as broken bread to be given to others in grateful response and loving obedience.
The great mystery of this giving and receiving is that what we accept in thanksgiving multiplies when we share it with others. Five loaves and five fishes received in gratitude were enough to feed a multitude of hungry people. 1 Would this not be enough to call forth our hearts to prayer, to offer all that we have, all that we are, all that we could ever hope to be, back to Him in deepest gratitude?
Prayerfully, may you share this crumb of broken bread with others. ~Betty