It is very clear that God is blessing us immensely. In a little over a year we have over doubled in attendance, we have celebrated and are about to celebrate a number of baptisms, and not only that, but we have been counted worthy to undergo significant tribulations as well. This past summer was not uneventful for many of you. This means that God is at work here at Holy Trinity, and we must respond in gratitude. One of the challenges that faces growing churches is the fact that we are dealing with numerous different people from different backgrounds and with different assumptions, customs, and most importantly, different kinds of sin. Many of you are new to the faith, perhaps it is new to you because you were just born in last few months or years, maybe it is new to you because you have just recently believed. For some of you the Christian faith is old hat, but faithfulness and discipline is something that is new to you. You have always believed, but you have never been faithful. And for others, you have been Christians for many years and your challenges are different. You are tempted to be proud or tempted to make peace with what you consider to be “little” sins. But this is the point: God is blessing us. God is blessing us. And this means that before anything else you need to commit yourself to gratitude, thankfulness, a deep sense of awe and wonder. And let that spill out into everything. It is the root of bitterness which grows up and defiles many, but the words of blessing and thankfulness give strength to the bones. Yes, we have a great deal of work to do. Yes, at any moment things could go terribly wrong. But this is always the point: God is blessing us. He’s pouring out his goodness on us. Be thankful. Sing Psalms. Rejoice around your tables. Set a beautiful Sabbath feast. God is blessing us. Rejoice in this blessing; this is the joy of the Lord. And the joy of the Lord is our strength.