The alpha and omega of what I am thankful for--GRACE.
And yet--this gift--can fly in our face. We think we need to earn it--deserve it---by our good character and great works. I love the words in the communion ritual used in the Methodist Church and they have stuck with me all these years---
"I am not worthy to gather up the crumbs under thy table."
We allow the dog to eat the crumbs under our table---but we are not worthy enough to eat the leavings on the floor at the table The Lord has prepared. In other words--we are lower than the dogs sniffing around for scrapes. OH--YEAH--smacks me where it hurts.
After all I write a check every month and I volunteer my time and I treat people with love and respect and I read The Word and I seek Christian fellowship. I looked up the rules and I am trying to follow them all. YIKES--it is impossible---I REALLY come up short when it comes to dotting all those i's and crossing all those t's.
God has given me the greatest gift and I thump my nose and remind Him of all I HAVE DONE! I could never do enough--could never follow enough rules--there is nothing I can do to deserve what He has freely given me.
SO---Alpha---I am thankful for His grace. Which He gave knowing I would still whine and complain and bemoan all the other things I want--think I need---am sure I deserve. He supplied the key to eternity and the map to the door and I am complaining about hiking the path to get there.
AH--and then there is His Grace--