Saturday, November 18, 2006

Communion Meditation-Thanksgiving

As we gather around our tables this coming Thursday, let us be thankful. It is good that our nation takes a day to remember to be thankful. For, remembering to be thankful is the only way that we actually are thankful. We teach our children this. If someone gives them a piece of candy or a kind word, it is not thankfulness to enjoy eating the candy or to relish in the kind word. It may be nothing more than greediness or self-righteousness or pride. But when a child or an adult says, “Thank you, I appreciate that very much,” then they are being thankful. When this happens, instead of a mindset of entitlement to the good done to them, a humility of self is both generated and conveyed. This is primarily the case because thanksgiving makes us aware of the grace and mercy of the giver. We do not deserve the candy or the praise but it is given anyway. When we realize this, thanksgiving ought always to be the response. To fail to recognize this is the beginning of forgetfulness, the creeping in of self-righteousness and an entitlement mindset that makes all of one’s problems somebody else’s fault. Folks, we Christians must not go there.

How will we ever learn this lesson so that it fills up our whole souls and flows out from us with an ever-gushing stream of thankfulness? I know just the place. We gather here each Lord’s Day. We get to eat and drink the life of Christ. We are invited to do this by the Holy God, the Creator of the universe, of man, the world and all that is in the world. We are brought here as friends of Jesus Christ, collectively, we are the very bride of Christ. He sends His Holy Spirit so that we have the presence of Jesus with us until the ends of the world. And….we don’t deserve to be here. We are not holy, like Jesus, at least not without Jesus. We are not God’s perfect children, at least not apart from our connection to His Son, in Whom He is well pleased. We are not royalty, at least not until betrothed, engaged and wed to Christ as His Church. We are not eternal beings, at least not until filled with the everlasting Spirit of God.

But here we sit each week, welcome, well-fed, full of promise, full of joy. And the only thing we can do as recipients of such a great blessing is to give thanks. To fail to do so is most rude. To not see the need to do so is near damnable. But to give thanks and to receive, even apart from our own worthiness to do so, generates the humility of thanksgiving in us that spreads to every corner of our lives. It all starts here.

So, let us eat and drink with thanksgiving. We give thanks for Jesus, for this covenant meal, for our homes, for our spouses, for our children, for our parents, for our immediate and extended families, for our church, for our elders, for our jobs, for our friends, for our government, for our country, for our state, for our city, and for all things good from God.

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