It’s a time for giving thanks. As I write this I give thanks that my Son who was planing to be home from college two days ago made it home safe and sound just 10 minutes ago. I give thanks that I can type this on a computer that seems to be working well. (I know I never should have written that) I can give thanks that I have a job to “go into work” for in just a few minutes. I can be thankful that my family, under my roof is well and together. I can give thanks that my wife will come by later and proof read all my typos and make them disappear. I can give thanks for the Woman of God my wife is to me, my boys, and the world around her. This list is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to my list of reasons to be thankful.
I know that some of you reading this may be having a hard time making your list this year. The circumstances of the past and the present day make it hard to focus through eyes of thankfulness.
But this idea of giving thanks is not just a “hallmark card” moment. It is not a good idea dreamed up by some politician. Giving Thanks is at the very center of God’s will for our life.
16 Be joyful always; 17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)
The real question in this text today is WHY? Why is thankfulness such a big deal to God? Why does giving thanks become part of His will for us in Christ? Does God need our praise, does he need his ego stroked? I don’t think so. In fact I am convinced that God call us to be thankful not for His sake, but for ours.
To refocus our mind on all the many blessings of life that we do have, lifts our spirits. It reminds us that in the grand scheme of things, God is the one in control – not us. We do not provide anything for ourselves apart from His gracious action. This view point removes all the pressure of life off of our shoulders.
In the Apostles Creed we confess “I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.”
Luther in his explanation to the Creed reminds us so simply about our relationship with the Father.
What does this mean?
I believe that God has made me and all creatures; that He has given me my body
and soul, eyes, ears, and all my members, my reason and all my senses, and still
takes care of them. He also gives me clothing and shoes, food and drink, house
and home, wife and children, land, animals, and all I have. He richly and daily
provides me with all that I need to support this body and life. He defends me
against all danger and guards and protects me from all evil. All this He does only
out of fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me.
For all this it is my duty to thank and praise, serve and obey Him.
This is most certainly true.
When we fail to give thanks we fall into the trap of this world, we take credit, and pass off blame onto someone else. In this broken world I pray that we, empowered by the Spirit of Christ in us, can rise above ourselves and our circumstances to fulfill the will of God for us. Give Thanks!
Just a thankful Pilgrim traveling through this world.