“Give thanks whatever happens.”
1 Thessalonians 5 v 18
Thankfulness has always been at the centre of the life and worship of God’s people. Under the Law of Moses, there were not only sacrifices for forgiveness, there were ‘thanks offerings’ as well. ‘Songs of thankfulness and praise...’ are at the heart of Christian worship. Thankfulness is directed towards God who gives and sustains life. Seeing the world as God’s creation underpins the way we approach everything in life, seeing it as a gift and not as a right. Thankfulness is important. Luke tells the story of the ten lepers who were healed and is probably challenging his readers to examine themselves when he tells of the amazement of Jesus that only one, a Samaritan, came back to thank him. (Luke 17 v 11-19). Thankfulness is a wholehearted response. It is a joyfulness that erupts into praise. Paul frequently encourages us to ‘be thankful’ (Colossians 3 v 15), to ‘give thanks in all circumstances’ (1 Thessalonians 5 v 18) and says that our lives should ‘overflow with thankfulness’ (Colossians 2 v 7). For Christians the greatest of all God’s gifts is Jesus and so we should live our lives in thanksgiving for the death and resurrection of God’s Son and the way of forgiveness that is opened up. At All Saints part of our lunchtime routine is to say thank you to God for the food we have. We encourage the children to be thankful, not just for the things we have that we so often take for granted for the gifts and abilities that we have. Thankfulness should also lead to a desire to look after our world and help those who lack the things we have.