Sunday, November 20, 2011

Giving Thanks

New Testament Challenge – Day 6

Since there are no readings for today in the New Testament Challenge, I will instead offer a few thoughts about the parable in today’s lectionary – The Parable of the Rich Fool found in Luke 12.16-21. By the way I’ve decided to do this also as part of the 40Days Blogging challenge sponsored by offered each year during Advent. I have chosen to combine both the New Testament Challenge and the 40Days Blogging challenge, so I pray you enjoy the next 34 days as much I pray I will enjoy (I’ve enjoyed it the past two years anyway) blogging…

I really think it is pretty cool that just a few days before Thanksgiving we hear the challenge to USE the gifts God has given us to glorify Him and help others and not horde those gifts for ourselves. Once we acknowledge that all our gifts are in actuality from God then and only then are we able to thank Him.

But HOW will we thank God for the blessing that He has given us this year? We pray in the Divine Liturgy, “For every good and perfect gift is from above, coming from You the Father of lights. To You we give glory, thanksgiving, and worship, to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and forever and to the ages of ages.” The first part of thanking God for His gifts is to acknowledge that the gifts are from Him to begin with and not from our own doing.

In the Gospel of Luke we hear the Parable of the Rich Fool who was so selfish and greedy that he could not see the blessings of his own wealth and he attempted to keep them all for himself. St Paul teaches us a better perspective about our wealth and blessings: “It is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2.8-10)

So my brothers and sisters in Christ, this year take a moment and thank God for your blessings by using what He has given you to His glory. Support the ministry of the Church with proper Christian Stewardship. Help the poor. Reach out to the lonely. But most importantly keep going to Church every Sunday prepared to receive Holy Communion and express your gratitude to Him.

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