O God, the giver of all that is good, by Your holy inspiration grant that we may think those things that are right and by Your merciful guiding accomplish them; through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
God is the giver of all that is good. That can sometimes be very difficult to see. Corrie Ten Boom recounts looking in wonder and perplexity at her sister who, in her daily prayers, thanked God for the one thing they had in the concentration camp: fleas. How could she thank God for these vermin? It was only later, after her sister died, that she realized that the fleas were important for keeping the other gift that God had given them, a single copy of the Bible. The guards were so afraid of getting infested themselves that they did not search her flea-infested barracks. Their Bible was safe, protected by a pest.
How would God have us think and act in these days? Too often we have allowed the world into those thoughts and the ways of the world have come to be found in the ways of our church. Some time ago I was talking to a call committee which was searching for a new pastor. They asked me what questions I would have, if I were being offered a call to this parish. Since I knew some of their history, I said to them that I would want them to tell me the last time they solved a problem like a Christian. When did they deal with an angry person, resolve a dispute, or meet a challenge in a way that demonstrated Christian faith, love, hope, or some other virtue.
I don’t think they had ever thought of their life together as a congregation that way. Jesus indeed has some things for us to think, things like forgiveness, grace, mercy, and peace. And then he has some things which he does intend for us to do, like forgive, comfort, seek peace, and reconcile. God, the giver of all good things stands ready to help you. First think of God’s things. Then do them. He will help.