By Dustin Loehrs, Worship Pastor
As we approach this holiday season we undoubtedly have many things on our minds. Whether it is preparing our houses to accept friends and family, cooking lots of great food, or maybe you are already creating that shopping list in preparation for Black Friday. If you are like me you are looking forward to enjoying some time with family, great food and getting to watch some football. This is a great time of year, and a wonderful time for us to remember and thank the Lord for how he has blessed us.
For some reason this seems to get harder and harder to do every year. Maybe it’s increased responsibility at home, work, or with family. Maybe it’s activities seemingly going on constantly with children in sports or at school. However, this holiday season and especially this week as we approach Thanksgiving I encouraged you to pause your family and take time to remember what we are celebrating.
So much of the holidays have become inwardly focused. However, the beginnings of Thanksgiving and it’s celebration were very outwardly focused. The pilgrims didn’t think, “Wow, look what we accomplished”. They recognized the provision and blessings that they have been given were from the Lord, and even though they worked to plant, harvest, and receive them. It would not have been possible without the favor the Lord upon them.
As I sat in church this weekend, I felt convicted for the lack of emphasis I put in being thankful to the Lord personally, and as I lead my family. We are blessed in so many ways with the freedoms that we have, the prosperity that we experience, but most of all we should be thankful for the gospel and for what Christ is done for us on the cross. Reflecting on that truth this morning I was reminded of a song called Jesus Thank You, (I’m sorry I’m a worship pastor everything reminds me of a song). The course of the song is this:
Your blood has washed away my sin Jesus thank You,
The Father’s wrath completely satisfied Jesus thank You,
Once Your enemy now seated at Your table Jesus thank You.
I love the final phrase of that, once Your enemy now seated at Your table. Because of Christ’s work on the cross we have been moved from a position of being in confrontation with God to being in harmony with God. Instead of being an enemy Scripture tells us that once we accept Him, God sees us as holy (Col. 1:22). Not only that, but that we have been adopted into His family (Eph. 1:5). There is nothing that we could be more thankful for this or any holiday season. So as you gather around the table, recline in your easy chair, eat lots of leftovers…and then sleep them off, take some time this week both personally and with your family to reflect and thank the Lord for the many blessings we have. Also, thank Him for the incredible power of the gospel, and for the grace and mercy that he is constantly showing us.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fill the hungry with good things.