In her wonderful book, Radical Gratitude, Mary Jo Leddy says that we live in a culture of ingratitude in which we are held captive by a consumer induced longing that can never be fulfilled. Our lives become enslaved to dissatisfaction and incessant craving. We always need more. “Enough” just isn’t in our vocabulary.
Radical gratitude, Mary Jo argues, is what can liberate us from such a captivity.
Radical gratitude engenders a spirituality of gift in the face of self-made accomplishment.
Gratitude is born of an economy of enough in the face of the hyperactivity of “more.”
Gratitude is rooted in grace, while a spirituality of entitlement is decidedly a spirituality of self-salvation.
Gratitude abandons the sullen adolescence of our culture and embraces a humility and gregarious openness born of a mature spirituality.
So there is something ironic about Thanksgiving. Let there be no doubt that this is a consumer festival, an occasion for gluttony, where the word “enough” is only uttered much too late.
And yet … there is the possibility in the midst of this secular holiday to rekindle a Kingdom ethic. There is the possibility that we can enter into an intentional feast of thankfulness that will radically undermine such consumptive greed through radical gratitude.
Will gratitude dismantle the political, military and economic imperial realities of our day?
Perhaps not. Or at least not immediately.
But without gratitude, without a sense of the profound gift-character of all of life, without a deep sense of grace and the thankfulness that such grace engenders, then all of our struggles for Christian authenticity won’t matter.
You see, the empire will have so captivated our hearts that all of our expressions of Christian faith will be little more than posturing.
Wine Before Breakfast
Tuesday @ 7.22am
Wycliffe College Chapel