Thankful at Thanksgiving in Jesus
As Thanksgiving approaches and especially on the Day, individuals and families often reflect on what they have to be thankful for over the past year. Many families have had significant events taking place. A young (or older!) couple getting married. A little baby is born. A new addition to the family. Graduations. Wedding anniversaries. A special milestone birthday celebration. There are so many wonderful things for which to be thankful!
Unfortunately, things have been a lot more challenging, a lot tougher with the Covid-19 pandemic raging on. We all know someone who has been affected by the virus. Maybe we or a family member have suffered with it too. We also know of individuals who have succumbed to the coronavirus and not recovered. This is very serious. Thankfully we also have heard the stories of a loved one who was in critical condition and was not expected to survive, but by God’s grace and healing, did pull through and recover. We certainly thank all the doctors, nurses, and caregivers for their tireless work and service in treating and caring for those with Covid, along with all the regular health issues. We are very thankful to the Lord for blessing our medical professionals with strength, perseverance, and patience as they carry out their work. We also praise our gracious, almighty God for healing and enabling so many patients to pull through. And we fervently ask Him to bring an end to this pandemic in his good time.
This has been no “ordinary” year! And yet each one of us has been blessed by God’s loving hand as He provided for our daily needs. All of His children can give thanks for the blessings that our gracious Lord provides in this earthly life. Not a single one is forgotten; we learn from God’s Word that he watches over every aspect of our lives, even the minutest details, “even the hairs of your head are all numbered.” (Matthew 10:30 EHV) Martin Luther explained it this way in his Small Catechism. Included in our daily blessings are “everything needed for this life; such as food, drink, clothing, shoes, house, home, fields, cattle, money, goods, God-fearing spouse and children, faithful servants and rulers, good government, good weather, peace, health, order, honor, true friends, good neighbors, and the like.” Yes, everyone has much to be thankful for! The Apostle Paul reminds us in his letter to the Colossians (3:17), “Everything you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
However, far above and beyond giving thanks for the earthly blessings that God daily provides are the spiritual blessings that the Lord blesses us with. We are to be especially thankful for the gift of His beloved Son, Jesus Christ. “For God so loved the world that He gave [us] His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
Out of His great love for us Jesus came and lived among us. (We look forward to celebrating his incarnation at Christmas!) God’s Son lived a perfectly sinless life in our place, and at the appointed time He shed his holy blood on the cross as He died paying for the sins of the world. All people who believe and trust in the Lord Jesus as their Savior are blessed with the forgiveness of all their sins. Because of Christ we can live each day with a clean conscience. And we have the certainty that we will be with the Lord and all believers in heaven for all eternity when He calls us home.
Yes, you and I have so much to be thankful for, more than we can ever imagine. Wherever you are this Thanksgiving and whatever your circumstances, please take time to praise our gracious, loving God and give Him thanks for all that He has done for you. We are truly blessed in Jesus!