Christianity 201

October 12, 2019

A Canadian Thanksgiving Meditation and Liturgy

Filed under: Christianity - Devotions — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:32 pm
Tags: , , ,

This is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada. This year, Ruth decided that just as we mark the 40 days before Christmas with Advent anticipation, she would do the same for the days leading up to Thanksgiving here, and has been posting something different each day on her Facebook page.

The thoughts below are something different she plans to share with the congregation for the Thanksgiving Sunday service.

by Ruth Wilkinson

We cannot just “be thankful.” Gratitude doesn’t stand alone.

Gratitude is an emotional response, an intellectual choice that doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Like the ‘fruit of the Spirit’, thankfulness exists in relationship. It’s a link in a chain, connecting something we’re thankful for, to someone we’re thankful to.

We can be grateful to a spouse for helping us find our keys. To a teacher for giving us extra time to complete an assignment. To the fire fighters for putting out the fire.

Like any attribute or characteristic that God commands us to cultivate, gratitude can only truly exist in relationship with other people.

On Thanksgiving, we remind ourselves of our first and our ultimate relationship.

Don’t be deceived, my dearly loved brothers. Every generous act and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights; with Him there is no variation or shadow cast by turning. By His own choice, He gave us a new birth by the message of truth so that we would be the firstfruits of His creatures.
James 1:16‭-‬18 HCSB

“Therefore I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; that’s why she loved much. But the one who is forgiven little, loves little.”
Luke 7:47 HCSB

Give thanks to Yahweh, shout out His name;
declare what He is doing among the peoples of every nation.
Sing to Him, make music to Him; sing about how He shows Himself wonderful!
Boast of His holy reputation; let the hearts of those who seek to find Yahweh rejoice.
Seek to find the Lord and seek His strength; seek His presence always.
Remember the wonderful things He has done,
His wonders, and the justice He has spoken
He is the Lord our God.
Psalms 105:1‭-‬5 HCSB

In giving thanks, we must have something to be thankful for. We must have someone to give thanks to.

So when we ‘give thanks,’ what does that mean? What does it look like? How do we ‘give thanks?’

It looks different in each culture, in each family, in each relationship. There are many ways to say, “Thank you!”

We say “Thank you” first by accepting the gift. With open hands and humble hearts.
We say “Thank you” by saying the simple words “Thank you.”
We say “Thank you” by testifying, by telling someone about the goodness we’ve received.
We say “Thank you” by imitating that kindness, by sharing with others in need, out of our abundance and even in our own times of want.
We say “Thank you” by sharing our resources, giving to the work that we do together as God’s voice and hands in the world.

We say ‘Thank you’ –
to the one and only God,
to the giver of life,
to the blesser of days,
to the bringer of hope

We say, ‘Thank you’ –
for every grace overflowing,
for every need provided,
for every good work done well,
for every gift shared,
for every obedience to the gospel of Christ,
for every proof of love through service,
for every affection received,
for every prayer on our behalf.

We say ‘Thank you’ –
by speaking,
by sharing,
by going,
by giving,
by singing, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift
that He gives and gives and gives again.”

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