Pastor's Pen 11/18/2014
You have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. Heb. 12:22-23
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thank-ful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:15-17, ESV)
Thanksgiving is part of the Christian life. Our Lord gives thanks on the night when He was betrayed when He broke the bread and when He gave the cup of the new testament in His blood: “When He had given thanks…” When He fed the five and four thousands He gave thanks to His Father in heaven and so blessed the bread and fish which He multiplied and satisfied the hunger of so many. Giving thanks is part of our Lord blessing oth-ers, blessing His disciples, and blessing creation. So we, when we are gathered at the Lord’s gathering, His di-vine service to us, bless the Lord by giving thanks to Him: "Let us bless the Lord...Thanks be to God.”
The sum of the Christian life is one of thanksgiving to God for all things, especially for sending His only-begotten Son into the flesh that He would redeem us from sin, death, and the power of the devil; that He would give us eternal life and that we should be called the children of God, and so we are, adopted by grace and held steadfast by His eternal Spirit. Truly this is worthy of thanksgiving!
As well our daily bread is worthy of thanksgiving. So too are our spouses, children, jobs, homes, cars, and so forth, well worthy of thanksgiving. Everything is a gift of your heavenly Father. 1st Article God gives to you...because of who He is...Fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me; for all which I owe it to Him to thank, praise, serve, and obey Him.
I do not know the situation that each one of you face in life. But whatever you face the Lord goes with you.
Philippians 4: I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situa-tion, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.
To rely on the Word of the Lord, which is the blessing of our Father in heaven and by which we know His promises are sure and certain.
Giving thanks when the Spirit reminds you that our heavenly Father cares for you and that all things are a gift from Him to you. All things belong to Christ for from Him and through Him and for Him are all things (Colossians 1:16), so we give thanks.
A final word: thanksgiving does not equal happiness or constant happiness. Happiness is an emotion that comes and goes. Thanksgiving is a state of being that finds contentment in whatever comes our way. “There is great gain in godliness in contentment” (1 Timothy 6:6; see also, 2 Corinthians 12:10). By giving thanks your light shines before others that they would see your good works (thanksgiving) and will give glory to our Father who is in heaven (Matthew 5:16). Then we might pray all the more fervently our Lord’s words that to the one who has more will be given so that they might grow in thanksgiving.
The great cup of salvation in Jesus over flows to you. In the Offertory we sing I will offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving and will call on the name of the Lord...This comes before the most Holy Meal...the Lord's Supper. Blessings to you and your family this Thanksgiving. May our lives be filled with Thanksgiving to God for the gift of His Son. In Name of Jesus.
With voices united our praises we offer And gladly our songs of thanksgiving we raise. With You, Lord, beside us, Your strong arm will guide us. To You, our great Redeemer, forever be praise! (LSB 785:3)
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