This month we’re going to together look at the legacy of Fred Rogers and how the messages of his decades-long children’s television series intersects with what we know about Jesus and the Christian faith. Rogers, an ordained Presbyterian minister, used his television show to find ways to communicate the Christian message to children, using themes of peace, love, forgiveness, hope and other themes that helped communicate Jesus’ unconditional love, grace, to those who needed those messages reinforced in their lives. Though he wouldn’t say that he was trying to preach to children or even proclaim Christianity, he did see his television show as a ministry for good and all that he knew through his vibrant Christian faith informed the way he conducted himself and the topics that he broached in his series.
We could all use reminders of how to be good neighbors, of how we are loved just the way we are, of how we need to reach out to those who may feel left out or shunned because of who they are.
One of the ways that we can be good neighbors is to share our gratitude with those for whom we are grateful. We can thank that kind neighbor who shovels out our driveway or looks after our place when we are away for the week or weekend. We can thank that thoughtful person who lets us know if they see something that appears to be wrong with our property or comes to help us fix something that is broken.
I have been keeping a daily gratitude journal for over two months and the daily gratitudes have helped me see how blessed I am and how many people make a difference in my life. As I look through my journal I read thanksgivings for anything from a day alone to rest and regroup to a day filled with people to energize and delight; from a job that I find fulfilling to time off and away from it all; from reading glasses that help me see to an able body that enables me to get around to the places I need to go.
As the New Year rolls around, some of us make resolutions to help us focus our attention on something that we have neglected or been meaning to get around to. For years my resolution has been to make no more New Years’ Resolutions and for years I have kept that resolution! But this year I’m resolving to pay attention to my gratitude and share my gratitude with the person for whom I am grateful.
Few of us say ‘thank you’ enough and I want to say thank you to all of you for the ways that you show Christ’s love to one another in big and small ways throughout the year. You are a blessing!