It’s been four years since we’ve celebrated Thanksgiving in America. Each of the intervening years were eventful for us. Our first year in England we had just arrived–and so had Harriet, who was two weeks old. The next year Harriet had pneumonia and last year Hugh was two weeks old. This year, we are celebrating in America–with family.
When people say, “What are you thankful for?” I always feel funny saying anything else before I say, “Jesus.” He is and always will be the greatest thing we have been given. In him everything else has its meaning and, having him, we lack no good thing. For “from him and through him and to him are all things” (Romans 11:36) and “in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17). Yet often I do go ahead and say something else, thinking that being thankful for Jesus is one of those things that almost goes without saying. I was challenged in this just this week by one of our pastors, when he asked in a sermon on Psalm 103 if we are remembering to truly bless the Lord for his benefits–to thank him that his steadfast love toward us is “as high as the heavens are above the earth” and he’s removed our transgressions “as far as the east is from the west”. Let’s not overlook, he said, the need to praise and thank God for what he’s done for us in Jesus Christ. It doesn’t go without saying but actually we can never say it often enough. How can we ever thank God enough for what he’s done for us? How can we even praise such a God? It’s like a mouse hugging a mountain.
What are we thankful for?
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.” (Ephesians 1:3-10)
Thankful today also for the many dear people in our lives. We feel that we have been loved and helped so very much by so many. We are thankful for the house, for the warm welcome at our new church, for the support of friends near and far. We have been given so much indeed. Thank you!!