Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Giving Thanks For God

I'm thankful for this reminder from Jason Lee about the effects that our thanksgiving discourse has on how we think about the God who gives. A few excerpts that I appreciated:

On the Implications of "Thanks-Giving":

For the secular mind, the whole holiday makes no sense. Thanksgiving? Thanksgiving somehow implies that I am not in charge of my own destiny. Thanksgiving somehow implies that a higher power not only exists but is in some way personally interested and personally involved in my life. To the secular mind, the very notion of “Thanksgiving” is repulsive and must be replaced. So, the movement to the title of “Turkey Day” is no real surprise.
On Thanksgiving To God:
Believers recognize that we are not just thankful for the good things that we have but that we should direct our thanksgiving to God. If we do not add to whom we are thankful, then our thanksgiving becomes little more than a progress report or satisfaction quotient. So, it is not just that we are thankful for (i.e. happy with) our jobs, our homes or our health. We are thankful to God who is our provider, our protector and our sustainer.
On Thanksgiving For God:
See, it is not just that we remember that we should be thankful to God, but that we are also thankful for God (e.g. Ps. 9:1-2). It is true that we are often overwhelmed by the gracious and loving acts of God including His good gifts of material provisions and life/health for us or our family. We are truly amazed at His provision of spiritual benefits such as forgiveness of sins, the fruit of the Spirit or a loving community of believers.

However, we must never let our thanksgiving for the good provisions of God overshadow our thanks for God Himself. We need to thank Him because of His glorious nature. There would be no possibility of wonderful things such as love, mercy, truth, righteousness, beauty and life, except through God who IS these things. So, pass the rolls, but first remember to be thankful to God for God.

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