Colossians 1:15-23

The first time I took on a 40-day quest to keep a gratitude journal, I was astounded at the result. It rewired my brain. Those 40 days held a good many difficulties and even grievous losses, but in the midst of them, I was always able to find healing events, loving people, or encounters with beauty every day. 

Today’s verses start with a glorious hymn about the world and all creation being reconciled to God through Jesus. Most scholars agree that the writer is taking an old wisdom hymn and adapting it to proclaim the cosmic Christ, who reigns over all. The hymn sings of Christ’s role in creation and reconciling the cosmos. It sings of the universal love of God and the triumph of God’s grace. 

When we read these verses without sensing our hope rise and our hearts lift, we are truly bereft. The words help us remember all that God has done for us and the world through Christ. The hymn reminds us to continue securely established and steadfast in the faith, without shifting from the hope promised by the gospel that you heard (v. 23). I contend that we can only continue in the faith and hold onto this hopeful vision of Christ reconciling the world to God when we practice being grateful and establish a discipline of gratitude. 

I try to keep a 40-day gratitude journal once a year, but I have found that I now automatically notice those gifts of God whether I’m keeping the journal or not. There are many ways to practice the discipline of gratitude. All of them will help us resonate with the great hymns and litanies of God’s goodness.


What is the best way for you to keep a discipline of gratitude? Consider opening a new note on your phone, or grabbing a journal that still has some empty pages and write about at least one thing you are thankful for today. Do this over the next 40 days and you will finish before New Year’s Eve.


God of triumphant grace, help us recognize all that you have done to reconcile the cosmos to yourself. And help us offer you our thanks. Amen.

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