(Brooke’s generosity Blog)
April 5, 2020

Psalm 118 verse 24 gives us hope. “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Sometimes I say it, and do not yet feel it. It is a prayer that hopes I will rejoice.

I sometimes say this as a first prayer of the day. Especially if I need a little encouragement to get out of bed and go for my first coffee of the day. (I am a real fan of the coffee maker that has a built-in timer. No waiting. No filling the coffee pot, putting grounds in the filter, and then watching impatiently while the coffee drips, and drips down so slowly.) I so relish my first jolt of caffeine.

In many African American churches, people say a variation of this verse when they start the first prayer of worship with the affirmation, “I thank you God for waking me up this morning.” In both cases, we give thanks for the sheer fact of living. We woke this morning and we will have a day filled with challenge and possibility and God is with us through it all!

We can not deny the challenges we face as a community and a planet. We are concerned about COVID-19 and out of our concern we can act accordingly.

With self-isolation and safe physical distancing, I marvel that we can socially connect with one another with new tools that are not as hard to use as we first feared. At first it felt a little awkward. In just a few days, it becomes a new normal.

Those who coined the phrase “I thank God for waking me up this morning,” were slaves. They lived under intolerable conditions. They were treated as sub-human and of no value. Yet their spirits soared when they proclaimed that life itself was a gift. God’s gift. We can have a free spirit regardless of our circumstances.

So, let us give thanks for the gift of life. As long as we have breath, let us praise God and reach out to our neighbour. Let us do all we can to be on the side of life and love.

I thank God for the medical workers, the front line of care givers of these times. I specifically mention to God my sister Peggy, who came out of a comfortable retirement to take on duties as a supervisor at a long-term care facility near Calgary where she lives. The director is on sick leave, and Peggy was called to help.

I thank God for the people of this congregation, reaching out to one another in extraordinary acts of caring. Not only are we connecting, we are having fun. We are a creative and caring community. I pray for those who worry about loved ones who are at risk. I pray for the people that I am not able to visit and some I cannot call due to their infirmities.

I thank God for the Emergency Services, fire, police, paramedics, and their families. I thank God for you. And pray for you. Wherever you are. May you find courage, hope and strength that will sustain you.

I thank you God for waking me up this morning. This is your day and I am grateful to share in it. Amen.