Armodoxy for Today
What does a prayer of thankfulness, that is, a thanksgiving prayer, sound like?
By reviewing the Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collection, we learned in yesterday’s message, that giving thanks, cannot be built on comparing our blessings with the blessings of others. (Daily Message: Comparison Shopping).
If we try to “comparison shop” as a means of thanking God, we will always come out on the short end of the scale. We may thank God for the beautiful house we possess, but next to God, who creates the valleys and mountains, and the gardens of trees and forests, our house is dwarfed. We can thank God for the luxurious cars we own, only to be reminded that the measurement of “horsepower” is meaningful because God has created the animals that move the land and inspire humans to gracefully count our movements. We may thank God for the beautiful airplane on which we fly, only to be reminded that God creates the wings, the feathers and birds that spark our imagination to create the machines that take flight. We can thank God for the art of the great painters, the words of the writers and the music of the minstrels, only to watch them pale next to a seascape hosting a sunset with clouds of deep reds and yellows that pull our imagination below the horizon.
The things we possess will always pale next to the wonders of God. Our prayer, the one of thanksgiving, is a simple one: Lord have mercy. In the Armenian Church, it is recited, chanted and sang, throughout all of our services, Der Voghormya. It is optimized thankfulness, with no excesses and packed with meaning. In asking God for His mercy, we acknowledge the greatness of the One who supplies and replenishes our lives day-to-day, hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute. In Armodoxy, this is the acknowledgement of God as Life-giver, Creator, the All. It resonates the words, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).
Pray this simple prayer of the Armenian Church and be mindful of all the wonders around you. Der Voghormya, Lord have mercy. Amen.