While we should always give thanks for the blessings God gives us, our gratitude should ultimately be for the grace that has opened our eyes to realize our need of Christ. Whatever material blessings we have or lack are from the providence of a good and faithful God. Our bounty is not the fruit of our hard work, self-sufficiency, and national superiority.
So, here we are with winter coming on, COVID infection rates rising, and hospital rooms filling. In most places in the USA this year we’re not even supposed to gather with our families for our traditional Thanksgiving celebration on November 26. Our politicians on both sides of the proverbial aisle are blustering contradictory messages about the situation because that’s what politicians do. These are not exactly the kind of circumstances that stir us to give thanks. But where does it say that thanksgiving is only based on favorable circumstances?
Lately I’ve been thinking about Mark, mainly because I just contributed a post on Mark for Credo magazine. After writing the post, it occurred to me that what I was seeing in Mark is a huge reason for thanksgiving. As you may have guessed, Mark has nothing to say about turkey and all the trimmings. In fact, although Mark directly mentions giving thanks only a few times, his story of Jesus gives us a profound reason for thanksgiving. In the USA the Thanksgiving holiday is November 28 this year, but Mark’s message gives us something to be thankful for every day of the year. God does not give up on flawed followers of Jesus, and neither should we.
How we respond to different circumstances shows what we really think of God. A friend recently found out that, contrary to previous reports, she does not have cancer. Our response was Praise the Lord! But other friends just lost their son to cancer. He had a wife and three young children. Was our response Praise […]