Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and as many of us are gathered around the dinner table with friends and family, it’s important for us to remember the true meaning of why we give thanks. Yes, we celebrate the national holiday that brings us together, however the Christian perspective of gratitude goes much deeper than remembering the Pilgrims and Native Americans. This idea of giving thanks to the Lord is seen in the Gospel:
1. Made for Thanksgiving (Creation)
Plain and simple, God created us to honor and worship Him. In all that we do we are to give thanks for who God is and what he does in our lives – sustaining and redeeming us. That’s it, nothing else. However, it didn’t take long for us to quickly stray from that purpose.
2. Fallen from Thanksgiving (The Fall)
We have all failed to give God the gratitude He deserves. When we lose sight of God’s purpose for our lives, we fall into sin trying to obtain what he has already promised us. We see that in Adam and Eve. They were made in God’s perfect image, yet they weren’t satisfied and fell into temptation. We may not be eating forbidden fruit today, however we lust over men and women when we aren’t satisfied with God’s design of marriage, we cut corners to earn more money when we don’t think He’s able to sustain us, and take matters into our own hands when we don’t think God will serve justice as He’s promised.
3. Saved by Thanksgiving (Redemption & Life of Jesus)
Thankfully, God didn’t leave us alone in our sin. He sent His son Jesus Christ to live a perfect life on our behalf. He lived in complete obedience to God, never sinning once. Jesus was satisfied with the Father and obeyed His will even to the point of death. It’s in the obedience and thankfulness of Christ where we can find hope that one-day God will restore us to be just like Him.
4. Freed for Thanksgiving (Consummation)
Lastly, we are saved from our ingratitude towards God and hell, and born again to live a life full of thankfulness and worship. We are no longer dead in sin, but alive in Christ through His work on the cross. We are now free to live as the redeemed sons and daughter of God, and look forward to the day when God fulfills His promise and returns to take away all sin from the earth.
So this Thanksgiving when everyone goes around the table and shares what they’re thankful for, remember that we exist to appreciate God and all that He has done for us. Yes, our jobs and success are blessings, and we should be grateful for them, but remember what Christ has done, and the freedom we now have in Him.
-Nathan Elizondo, Relationship Coordinator