by Rev. Jeremy McCants, M.Div.
Matthew 2:13: When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”
Matthew 2:19-20: (19) After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt (20) and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to –take the child’s life are dead.”
In the midst of an unfit presidential administration that demands children are separated from their parents through no fault of their own; in the midst of a land that is void of justice and liberation; and in the midst of a religion that is more concerned about evangelizing rather than saving lives, one begs the question, where may we find gratitude?
How, in these trying times do we find and hold on with a fervent grip, that which we call gratitude?
In referencing the book of Matthew, particularly verses 13 and 19-20, I would like to remind you that these are not excerpts from a story of a little boy or girl being born in Mexico, Syria or Libya, where the tyranny of their country’s leadership is trying to kill them. It is not a story of parents who have just been given rightful citizenship to their home county, and can now return with peace of mind and heart. However, this is the story of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, for those who hold the Christian faith near to their heart.
The gratitude that we are seeking to obtain or regain may not be the gratitude that we, in our current times, are hoping for because we wish that God would give us the go ahead to flee somewhere until things calm down. But our gratitude rests in the fact that we are seeing people, both young and all from all walk of life who are not willing to flee anymore. Our gratitude rests in the fact that we have more black women serving in key seats in almost every branch of government now.
Our gratitude rests in the fact that we are awakening a generation of young people who are not afraid to speak out anymore and say that gun violence prevention needs to be discussed at every opportune moment – and that they need to be at the table. Our gratitude, as Christians, rests in the fact that For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Whatever you find your gratitude to be in, hold on to it tightly and never let it go.