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Month: November 2020

Giving Thanks

Giving Thanks

As Thanksgiving comes this year I am reminded that Martin Luther often wrote that the Christian life should be a gracious response to the life and salvation we receive in Christ Jesus. In expounding upon the first article of the Apostles Creed in the large catechism. He wrote

 I hold and believe that I am God’s creature, that is, that God has given me and constantly sustains my body, soul, and life, my members great and small, all my senses, my reason and understanding, and the like; my food and drink, clothing, nourishment, spouse and children, servants, house and farm, etc. Besides, God makes all creation help provide the benefits and necessities of life—sun, moon, and stars in the heavens; day and night; air, fire, water, the earth and all that it yields and brings forth; birds, fish, animals, grain, and all sorts of produce. Moreover, God gives all physical and temporal blessings—good government, peace, security.

Martin Luther, The Large Catechism, “Explanation to the First Article of the Apostles’ Creed” 

In many ways, this reminds me of Psalm 107:1,

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” 

I don’t know about you, but I don’t always know how to or want to give thanks to God. But if we read further in Psalm 107, we find a God who redeems his people despite failing and turning away. As this section from verses 4-9 Illustrates.

4 Some wandered in desert wastelands,     finding no way to a city where they could settle. They were hungry and thirsty,     and their lives ebbed away. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,     and he delivered them from their distress. He led them by a straight way     to a city where they could settle. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love     and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty     and fills the hungry with good things.

Take some time to read through the rest of Psalm 107. Maybe you’ll find something that resonates with you. 

We can trust that God’s love and mercy for us endures forever at our best and, at our worst. God continues to find ways to bless and redeem us. Let us trust the Lord and respond in gratitude. I know that when I lack gratitude, I tend to be self-centered and pessimistic about life. Which also happens to sound a lot like how we define sin. Sin is described as a turning in on yourself and a self-focused attitude that draws us away from God and our Neighbor. However, when we have gratitude, we can’t help but look up and see how God and our community provides and cares for us every day.

Let us Pray,

Lord Creator of the universe,
You sustain and give us all good things. Help us to respond in gratitude toward your gracious gifts. The Gifts of life and love. The gifts of food, shelter, and clothing that others labored so that we could have them. Nothing we have, we earned on our own. We are dependent upon you and the gift of community. Help us to live in gratitude so that all our gifts, especially your gift of love, may be shared. In Jesus Name. Amen. 

Have and wonderful Thanksgiving Celebration. Stay Safe.

Pastor Mark

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