United Church of Christ

All There is to Say

"O give thanks to the Lord, for God is good;
    God's steadfast love endures forever!

Let Israel say,
    "God's steadfast love endures forever." - Psalm 118:1-2

On Easter Monday the big celebration is over. Most of us are back to our regular lives, carrying on like nothing has changed. Something has changed, though. Just yesterday we were reminded again that death was defeated by God's love, and that hope has broken out of the tombs and into the world.

Today's lectionary readings include this very short passage from the Psalms. Most readings are far longer than two verses, but on this day after Easter, this is all we need: Give thanks to God, for God is good . . . God's steadfast love endures forever.

Ministers love to use five words when one will do, so this is a good reminder to those of us who preach that sometimes brevity is the soul of faith. There is nothing more that I can say about the miracle of Easter that is not said in these two lines. I could preach for an hour, and I'd never be able to sum up the task of Easter Monday better than this: Give thanks to God for God is good . . . God's steadfast love endures forever.

And so, as you go out into the world today, do just that. Give thanks to God for a goodness and love that could not be contained, even by the grave. Give thanks in prayer and praise, but give thanks in other ways, too. Give thanks through all actions you take, every act of kindness you bestow on others, and each occasion when you are called to stand up in courage and love for your neighbors.

God's love has already won. It's our work to spread that good news to those who do not yet know it. Our thanksgiving thus becomes the world's joy, and our every action becomes a small reminder of resurrection. 

Prayer

Thank you God, for you are good. Your steadfast love endures forever. Amen.

Stillspeaking Small Group Discussion

dd-emilyheath.jpgAbout the Author
Emily C. Heath is the Senior Pastor of The Congregational Church in Exeter (New Hampshire) and the author most recently of Courageous Faith: How to Rise and Resist in a Time of Fear.

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