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Saying thank you
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George Martin clr.jpg
Rev. George Martin

There are words and phrases in common courtesy that are used as we carry on speaking, listening and expressing our thoughts and feelings in conversation with others. One particular phrase is, “Thank you” another is, “You are welcome.” Either of these should be quite common in our everyday discourse with other people. When handed a cup of coffee in the morning, or, when the butter for your toast is passed by another. It should be immediately offered, ‘Thank you,’ and then, ‘You are welcome.’ If you are the one who did the passing.

Most people learn to use these terms early on in their lives. Mothers it seems can always be heard teaching their child, “What do you need to say to Aunt Flossy, Samuel, for giving you that present?” If the words Thank you are not forthcoming her hand then reaches to stop the child from opening the gift. The learning moment then progresses, and the present is opened. With constant fortification like that we learn to use the terms, and even to expect them from others. Those words become ingrained in our vocabulary and our sense of propriety.

But I want to take this subject to another level; one all of us should be aware of, if we are the least bit aware of God acting in our lives; or the creator benefiting us in particular with His blessings and providence. How do we say thank you to God? Or, should we say, ‘Thank you’ to God. The answer to the second question is, Yes, we should say thank you to God each and every time we can blame God for the gift; and we do it in the same way our Mothers taught us when Aunt Flossy brought us that gift. We simply say thank you, God, that is all it takes, that and nothing more. Because we are, or can be on a one to one relationship with God. He is our creator, he is our friend, and we are assured of His constant love. Acknowledging that allows for the simple and direct message of, thank you, God.

God will hear you and God will respond. He will respond with, “You are welcome;” and to show He means ‘You are welcome’ He will offer an ending to this day and the promise that the Sun will bring another tomorrow. It is the vernacular He uses so that all may understand. 

So, this Thanksgiving Day take a moment, privately or publicly to bring God to mind and then say, ‘Thank you God for all you have given me; so many gifts, so much favor and so much love and caring; so many opportunities, so much forgiveness. You are always there and I love you. Amen.’

He will surely answer, “You are Welcome.”

The Rev. George O. Martin is an Ordained Deacon at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 17th and Adams, Great Bend. Send email to