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Gratitude as the Threshold

Kristen Daley Mosier, Fuller Northwest alumna, offers thoughts on gratitude as a starting point for the Advent season.

Lumpkin - Fall in Pasadena

Photo by Matt Lumpkin (MDiv ’11)

I find it appropriate that Thanksgiving comes just before Advent. Remembering God’s goodness is the foundation for expecting and anticipating God’s coming.

This year I am grateful for professors and pastors who have walked alongside me in seminary, who see and call out God’s gifts, and who keep me and my family in their prayers. Completing a seminary degree is a significant milestone for all of us. It is a moment that signifies greater knowledge of God and the church, responsibility within our communities, and for most (if not all) of us, has come with further dependence upon and trust in God. This year I am most thankful for a few remarkable individuals God placed in my life, whose wisdom and long journey of following Christ are storehouses of riches. God is faithful to and through all generations.

In the Kingdom of God now/not yet paradigm, thanksgiving is a call to anticipate more. Not that what we have received is insufficient, but because we know there is a grander vision for all of creation. Gratitude is the threshold on which we stand in expectation of delving further into hope, faith, love, and joy for still more people. Listen to the Advent readings this year: while we celebrate God’s incarnation in the person of Jesus, born to Mary amidst straw, mud and cattle, there is a voice in the wilderness crying out even still. Prepare the way of the Lord in our churches and neighborhoods, in our cities and regions. Make straight a path within our own hearts to receive the coming One.

This Advent, when we ask of Jesus, Are you the one who is to come? (Matthew 11:3) let our thankfulness be the substrate of our prayers, the platform of our anticipation. Let us remember what God has done, as we walk alongside one another, sharing stories of God’s faithfulness yet to come.