I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus (1 Corinthians 1:4)
Gratitude can escape us. We move from one thing to the next with no blink of an eye, no breath taken. Paul stops us and looks us square in the eye and says thank you. Thanks be to God for you and the grace that exudes from you. We don’t say thank you enough. It is time consuming, moment stopping, brain on halt mode, kind of endeavor. Yet, the connection when we stop and say thank you is a means of grace.
I recently took a short flight to Tulsa this week. We have been in the government shutdown for almost a month now. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect at the airport. Long lines, angry travelers, angry TSA agents. I braced myself for the worst. To my surprise there were no long lines. The TSA agents were in full force providing for our safety in the air with no pay. When I landed and was leaving the airport. The air traffic controllers were lined up in the hallway with their families. They asked if we would write our congress people. Never asking for a side. Just to write. Many of them telling us they would go to work that evening but without pay as they held their preschool child because they could no longer afford to send them to school for this month. We exchanged names and stories. They said thank you over and over again. With no assurance we would do anything they asked. Yet, the connection was made by grace and with thankfulness to stop and hear their stories.
I wonder if that is how the church at Corinth felt when they received this letter from Paul. A life-halting moment. A grace-filled time to receive connection to each other through God’s amazing grace. May it be so for all of us each and every day.