thanksgiving…

Thanksgiving has certainly been transformed over the years by popular culture into more of an event than a way of being. Many of us have a heightened awareness of giving thanks at least one time during the year (and possibly in the days preceding the event)…but I am not sure that we have ever given much of thought to embodying a real, authentic moment-by-moment life of thanksgiving.

In fact, I would make the case that the majority of us view thanksgiving as a momentary, sporadic expression of gratitude that happens when something goes in our favor. To that extent, our thanksgiving is quite conditional.

What we find in the biblical scriptures is something very different than what we have been cultured to believe.

We find that thanksgiving is never viewed as an event, or as something that should only occur sporadically or momentarily, or as an expression of gratitude only when something goes in our favor. Rather, we find that thanksgiving is a moment by moment expression of gratitude in everything that is done, in every moment of the day, with every breath that is taken, and never dependent upon the situation or circumstance.

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2: 6-7

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Colossians 3: 15

Rejoice always. Pray continually. Give thanks in all circumstances. For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18

Real thanksgiving is our continual expression of gratitude to God regardless of our life situation or condition.

Real thanksgiving is a continual expression of gratitude for God’s grace, God’s love, God’s mercy, God’s provision, and God’s marvelous creation.

Real thanksgiving is saying right now and right now and right now, “this is the very best life can offer and I am not worthy of it.”

Real thanksgiving responds in the midst of chaos, confusion, and calamity, “thank you God for your grace, mercy, love, and beauty that outshines and makes everything else fade.”

Many times, as a Christian, I have neglected the very essence of who I have been created to be by not being thankful.

The Christian is a present participant in the promise of Jesus Christ in making all things new. New creation has been initiated in our lives. The spiritual effects of the Resurrection are being realized in power in our lives through God’s Holy Spirit. And we have been given new eyes to see clearly the beauty, majesty, and wonder of God right now!

The Spirit cries out to me: See the wonder! See the glory! See the beauty! And move forward in awe!

Listen.

Smell.

Feel.

Take it all in and delight. Let the wind blow at your back and let the sun shine down on your face.

Listen to the conversations.
Joy in the laughter of your children.
Celebrate that you can give your baby a bath.
Delight in the songs of the birds and the rustling of the leaves.
Be enveloped by everything and everyone around you.
Count your blessings.

Smell the autumn fragrance.
Let the preparation of your meal be a prayer and a blessing.
Savor every bite as if it is your very first.
Feel the textures.
Let the work of your hands be praise.
Count your blessings.

Sit in the woods and notice every detail of creation.
Close your eyes and absorb every note and harmony.
Glory in every drop of your morning coffee.
Embrace the touch of another.
Join in the chorus of all creation in praise.
Count your blessings.

Can any one of us even utter a grumble…in the midst of creation’s immeasurable wonder?

It is good.
It is good.
It is good.

From the depths of my soul and with every breath…thank you God. I am an unworthy man.

Peace…

Brandon

4 thoughts on “thanksgiving…

  1. Brandon,
    Thank you for your ministry and for your leadership in our community. I am grateful for who you are and for the heart God has given you. I am thankful that we are on the “same team”.

    Mark Teike

    Like

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