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Pastor's Notes from The Scribe (November 2015)

posted Oct 31, 2015, 6:34 AM by Russell D. Hampton

While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, "Take, eat; this is my body."  Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” ~ Matthew 26:26-28

Jesus gave thanks.  Even though Judas was about to betray him and Peter would soon deny knowing him, Jesus sat with his disciples and gave thanks to God for the meal they were about to eat.  Even as his imminent suffering and death approached, he gave thanks for the bread and wine that was before him.  Jesus gave thanks!

Every week we hear these words spoken during the liturgy of Holy Communion.  We are reminded that Jesus gave thanks for the small gifts of bread and wine before he shared them with his disciples.  We are reminded that we are to give thanks for the precious gift of Christ’s body and blood, which was poured out for our sakes and which God in Christ shares freely with us.  Through Christ’s body and blood we are forgiven our sins and granted the promise of eternal life.  God loved us so greatly that He gave His only Son for our sakes.  We give thanks! 

Do we give thanks each and every day of our lives?  Do we remember to thank God for all that we have?  Do we thank God for each precious day we are given on His creation?

How can we give thanks to God?

1.      Prayer – Many times, people pray during times of need.  God may be forgotten when times are good and only called upon when times are not so good.  But we should be thanking God in prayer at all times.  Try to establish a routine of lifting up prayers of thanksgiving: give thanks before every meal; give thanks when you wake up for another day of life; give thanks before you go to bed for God seeing you through the day; give thanks alongside your prayers of want and need. 

2.      Giving Back – God gives us life.  God gives us abilities and talents so we can provide for ourselves.  God provides us with daily bread.  God grants us salvation through Jesus Christ.  One way to thank God is by devoting your life to time with God and with service towards others (but remember, giving back does not merit our salvation).  Give back to God be spending 20 minutes in daily devotion.  Give back to God by offering your time to a social ministry that is in need of volunteers.  Give back to God by offering a monetary donation to a local food pantry or the World Hunger Appeal. 

3.      Thanking Others – God sent Christ into the world not only to free us from sin and death, but to gather all persons into one unified body.  One way we live in unity with one another is to thank others for what they do for us.  When we do not give thanks, we may seem ungrateful to others, which leads to discord.  When we do give thanks, others know they are appreciated and valued.  God wants us to live in unity, so give thanks to others for what they do! 

4.      Worship God – There is no better way to offer thanks to God than by worshipping and praising His name.  Remember to take that one hour or two each week to join with your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to praise and thank God for everything you have been given in this life. 

As we approach the holiday of Thanksgiving, remember to thank the One who gives you life and salvation.  Have a blessed and safe Thanksgiving! 

Peace,

Pastor Maureen

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