Thursday, November 26, 2009

Don’t Just Thank God...Show Him Your Thanks

New Testament Challenge, Day 12 – Luke 8-11

Happy Thanksgiving. Since today is a day, the only official day in America set aside for thanking God, I am sharing some thoughts on giving thanks that are inspired by today’s reading.

“Peter said to Jesus, ‘Master, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’” (Luke 9.33) One way we show God we are thankful for the blessings He has given us is to build churches. This practice seems to have fallen away in our contemporary American setting. But consider other “Orthodox” countries where there are millions of Orthodox Christians and you will witness the very tradition. Every street corner, practically speaking, has a church or a chapel in honor of a saint. Many of these have been built in honor and thanks for blessings received. In our contemporary American experience, this could take the form of donations to our local Church of Holy Icons or other items used in the worship of God. Many priests, at least I know I do, have a list of things needed for the Altar or Church. At bare minimum we should make a contribution to the building fund or ministries funds of our local church. This practice is Holy and should be reinvigorated in our American Church.

“He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.” (Luke 11.23) It is not enough to mind our own business when it comes to having faith. Just because we are not working against Christ doesn’t mean we are working for Him. This passage in Luke suggests that we must be actively working to further the Gospel of Christ to show Him that we are on His side.
“No one, when he has lit a lamp, covers it with a vessel or puts it under a bed, but sets it on a lampstand, that those who enter may see the light. Therefore take heed how you hear. For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken away from him.” (Luke 8.16,18) Here we see our duty to take the light of Christ that we received at our Baptism and not just let it shine for others, but actively make it visible for others to receive the Light. In other words, we sin when we keep our blessings a secret not so that we can be praised but so that people can glorify God.

Here are three examples in today’s readings that inspired me today to commit to an active expression of thanks to God and not simply saying thank you. Praise God for all things.

No comments: