A Prayer of Thanks
Thank you, Lord,
In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…
For life itself, the gift I take most for granted.
For my baptism and introduction to the Gospel when, as an infant, all I could do was trust.
For my family and my ancestors.
For the blessing of being born and raised in a good, prosperous, and free land, as part of a generation that lacked for little.
For an incredible variety of friends and experiences over the years.
For the many ways you protected me during the foolishness of my youth.
For guiding my steps, though I have been almost totally clueless when it comes to making choices in my life; somehow a way has always appeared before me.
For my teachers, formal and informal, who have been second only to my family in shaping my life.
For a spiritual awakening in my teen years that kept me from being a statistic.
For my family — my wife, children, and grandchildren — in whom my heart delights and for whom it aches and breaks and prays each day.
For baseball, game of my life. (And oh merciful Redeemer, for the 2016 Cubs!)
For the Marx Brothers, Bogart, The Wizard of Oz, Woody Allen, It’s a Wonderful Life, and all the characters I’ve met and alternate worlds I’ve entered through darkened rooms.
For music, joy of my life.
For Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and all my muses.
For a calling to ministry, the never-ending well of the Bible from which to teach, and the many opportunities to serve that have come my way.
For all the churches that taught me how to be a pastor more than I taught them how to be congregations.
For Luther, in all his tenderness and storminess, and his unyielding focus on Christ.
For Eugene Peterson, Henri Nouwen, N.T. Wright, and my brother Michael Spencer — faithful guides in the post-evangelical wilderness.
For the life-affirming privilege of working with the dying and their families with a team of remarkable people.
For hearing me when I pray Kyrie Eleison at the beginning of each worship service, and for Word and Sacrament to nourish me with all pilgrims as we journey on.
For one true holy catholic and apostolic church — even when it looks hopelessly shattered in a billion pieces.
For grace beyond measure, hope without end, and a Savior to whom none can compare.
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And finally, God bless the Spencers, the Dunns, the Zehners, the Dyes, the Jepsens, the Stallards, and all the other families who have lent their loved ones to give their talents to working and writing for Internet Monk.
And thanks to our community of readers and commenters. I’m grateful for each and every one of you.