As we head into the holiday season, we first are faced with Thanksgiving. The day is a time spent with family and friends, giving thanks for the blessings we have received. Even those who don’t have faith express thanks for family, friends, jobs, health, and home.
Those of us with faith express thanks for those same things, but we also give thanks for the greatest gift, the birth, death, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. For we know that all our blessings come from God.
How do we give thanks when we lose a job? How do we give thanks when we have lost a spouse, or a child? How do we give thanks when we are facing either a chronic or ultimately fatal illness?
1Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Hymn 785, We Praise You, O God, in the Lutheran Service Book tells us that God will not forsake us when perils overtake us, and that with the Lord’s help we win our struggles.
This is not to say that we don’t have our times of sadness or grief. We all do. What these verses do tell us is that we have a choice. We can choose to be thankful, even in our grief. We can be thankful that we wake up each morning even though we may be dealing with uncertainty that comes with a job loss. We can be thankful that our loved one who is no longer here was with us and now is with God. We can be thankful that God sent His Son to be our Savior, even though we daily fall into sin.
We can be thankful for our faith. For without faith, what is our future?
Lutheran Service Book – Hymn 806 Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart
Give thanks with a grateful heart, Give thanks to the Holy One, Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ His Son. Give thanks with a grateful heart, Give thanks to the Holy One, Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ His Son.
And now let the weak say, “I am strong,” Let the poor say, “I am rich,” Because of what the Lord has done for us. And now let the weak say, “I am strong,” Let the poor say, “I am rich,” Because of what the Lord has done for us.
Give thanks, give thanks.
During this holiday season, and throughout the year, may the peace of the Lord be always with you.