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Pastor's Notes from The Scribe (November 2013)

posted Nov 7, 2013, 10:44 AM by Pastor Russ Crouthamel

Then ordering the crowd to sit down on the ground, Jesus took the seven loaves and the fish; and after giving thanks he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all of them ate and were filled; and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full.” ~ Matthew 15:35-36

All four gospels record Jesus giving thanks to God for the food provided when he gathered the multitudes and the disciples to eat.  Now, the food used for the meals was a very small amount.  Yet, Jesus still gave thanks for the gifts presented on those occasions.  Prior to feeding more than 5,000 people, Jesus gave thanks to God for the bread and fish they had.  Before instituting the Last Supper with the disciples, Jesus gave thanks for the wine and bread which he commanded we take as his body and blood.  Even though the offerings were small, Jesus lifted up his gratitude to God… Jesus gave thanks!

We, as children of God, are called to model our lives from the example of Jesus Christ.  We model our lives by proclaiming God’s kingdom; through our worship and fellowship; through our forgiveness of one another; by praying to God; by offering hospitality to all people; and by helping all people, especially the least of society.  We also model our lives by thanking God.

What does the “thanking God” side of our lives look like?  Well, here are some questions to ponder (and if you have any additional ones, please share them with me!).  Are we offering prayers of thanks alongside our prayers of intercession and petition?  Do we thank God for everything we have in this life, no matter how big or small?  Before meals, do we give thanks for the food set before us and are we teaching our children to do the same? After receiving our bi-weekly/monthly sources of income, do we give thanks to God for giving us the abilities to earn that money?  When we donate to a charitable cause – even if it is as little as $5, $10 or $20 – do we thank God for calling us to respond to the needs of this world with what has first been entrusted to us?  When we hear the Word proclaimed or ingest the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ during Holy Communion, do we thank God for giving us his only Son for our salvation and the salvation of the world?  Do we give thanks in all things?    

It is easy to give thanks to God when a miraculous event occurs – like when a loved one lives through a dangerous surgery or when a person narrowly misses severe bodily harm (don’t get me wrong, we should be thanking God when those events occur).  It’s easier to give thanks to God when we have been blessed with gifts in the present (again, we should be thanking God!).  But, do we give thanks to God for everything in life, especially for those aspects of life we take for granted?  Are we thanking God each and every day for ALL we have in life?  Most importantly, are we giving thanks to God for sending Jesus into the world so that we may have life, forgiveness, and salvation?

Prayer: Gracious God, you are the giver, redeemer and sustainer of life.  We thank you for creating us, for giving us all we need to sustain life, and for redeeming our lives through the death and resurrection of your Son, Jesus Christ.  Guide us by your Spirit, to remember to give thanks in and for all things and help us to be gracious to all people.  Amen.

Blessings ~ Pastor Maureen