A simple thought in preparation for our Thanksgiving festivities. It is most likely a bit short-sighted to give an encouragement to take a moment before carving the turkey and passing the bowls of stuffing, green beans and cranberry sauce to give thanks to God for His innumerable blessings. After all, it is November and this is part of what we do. We give thanks. And so we should. For house and home, for land, animals, money and good, for a devout family, good friends, peace and health, and for all of the thing that are listed in the explanation for the Fourth Petition of the Lord’s Prayer (Give us this day our daily bread), we are bound in true humility to give thanks to God for His grace and mercy by which He supplies all that is needed to support this body and life.
However, one thing is missing. A critical thing. As we consider how exhaustive the list is which Luther describe as making up our “daily bread” it might be difficult to identify what that one thing is. Granted, Luther’s explanation ends with an “etc.” but what else could be listed in addition to the 23 items already named? Well, in a word, the one thing is Jesus. It is right and proper that we give thanks TO Jesus but are we not remiss in giving thanks FOR Jesus?
True thanksgiving begins with the recognition of the blessing that is Jesus – the gift of His life, His sacrificial death and His victorious resurrection. True thanksgiving begins with the humility that is generated by the forgiveness of sin and the promise of eternal life given to us through Jesus. It is in this thought that these stanzas of the hymn, “Christ, the Life of All the Living” are appropriate to consider as part of our Thanksgiving. Read them now and let them shape your expressions of thanks when you gather with your family around the table on Thursday. Give thanks to Jesus for all He has done, but begin by giving thanks for Jesus and the great love which He has shown you in the salvation He has won for you.
Learning to live life as it’s meant to be. That’s what we strive to do here at Grace, to live under the cross in the new life that we have in Christ through His death and resurrection. The posts on this blog, grounded in God’s Word, will be offered as a source of encouragement, comfort and strength “along life’s way” to the end that we live lives of service in our homes, in our communities and in our congregations.