November 24th (Christ The King Sunday): “Joyfully Giving Thanks” – Thanksgiving

Main Text: Colossians 1:11-20 (Jeremiah 23:1-6; Luke 23:33-43)

This
week we celebrate Thanksgiving in this country. It is a holiday in which we
give thanks for all the gifts. Giving thanks is an important exercise, but what
is the focus upon? In the practice of giving thanks for all the gifts, our
focus is on the gifts themselves. We are God’s great offering to the world. It
is God who imbues all gifts including us with our identity and purpose. When we
over identify with the gifts, we can begin to think that our deepest need is to
protect and preserve what we have. This is what happened to the leaders
(shepherds) spoken of in Jeremiah. Rather than leading the nation to be a light
and example to all nations of how-to live-in relationship to this God who so
generously gives to us, they began to seek their own power and might to
preserve what they have. The gifts of God were no longer used for the people of
God and the people of God were no longer a light to the world of how things
could be. Yet, this God who gives us all things still promises to give more.
God truly modeled thanksgiving, when God sent his own son. Paul says in his
letter to the Colossians that all things (gifts) fit together in Christ. In
Christ they find their identity and purpose. When Christ is first in our lives,
we also find our identity and purpose for being. The story of the crucifixion
in Luke’s Gospel has them calling him a King. In reality, Jesus stood in
contrast to all Kings who came before him. All other Kings were motivated by
self-interest. Christ the King sought only to serve, and model God’s identity
and purpose intended for us all. Now, by faith we are invited to do more than
give thanks for the gifts we have. We are invited to offer all that we are to
God joyfully in thanksgiving. When we do, we discover who we really are and why
we exist.   

WRITTEN BY: Abiding Presence

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