Being Thankful

A Blessed Thanksgiving to you!

Today I want to encourage you to reflect on the words of our Lord in 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, especially the word: “REMEMBRANCE”
“…The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”  For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”

The Lord asks us to “REMEMBER” His work for us. Biblical Hebrew has no word that means “history” (the closest equivalent is divrei hayamim, “chronicles”). Instead Biblical Hebrew uses the root zakhor, meaning “memory.”

There is a fundamental difference between history and memory. History is “his story,” an account of events that happened sometime else to someone else. Historia is a Greek word meaning inquiry. The same word comes to mean, in Latin, a narrative of past events. However, MEMORY is “my story.” It is the past internalized and made part of my identity. So, during this thanksgiving season, REMEMBER His work of grace and glory in your family and you…make it part of your identity.

At your thanksgiving table, I encourage all of you to read Psalm 107 as an offering of thanksgiving to the Lord. Psalm 107, a song on the theme of giving thanks, beginning with the best- known words of gratitude in Hebrew: Hodu la-Shem ki tov, ki le-olam chasdo, “Give thanks to the Lord for His loving-kindness is forever”.

(BTW, a snippet of American History…Fleeing from persecution in England, the Pilgrim passengers on the Mayflower brought along their main source of spiritual inspiration and comfort: the Bible. One particular edition of the Bible (published in 1618) is known to have been in the possession of none other than William Bradford, who would later serve as governor of Plymouth Colony.  Shortly after their arrival in November 1620, William Bradford led the new arrivals to the American colonies in thanking God for the safe journey that brought them to America by reciting verses from Psalm 107. )

Psalm 107 describes four (4) specific situations in which the Lord has provided His grace and glory to His people:

1. Crossing the sea:
“Some went out on the sea in ships; they were merchants on the mighty waters . . . They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths; in their peril their courage melted away . . .Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.”
 2. Crossing a desert:
“Some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way to a city where they could settle. They were hungry and thirsty, and their lives ebbed away. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.”
 3. Recovery from serious illness:
“They loathed all food and drew near the gates of death. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent forth his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.”
 4. Release from captivity:
“Some sat in darkness and the deepest gloom, prisoners suffering in iron chains . . . Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom, and broke away their chains.”

Wherever this Psalm 107 finds you today, I want you to know that God is still on His throne! He has not changed! His power has not waned. He is still the God Who saves!

Whenever someone has done us a favor, given us a gift, comforted us in the midst of grief, or rescued us from danger. We owe them something. That “something” is todah, the Hebrew word that means both “acknowledgement” and “thanks”. It is a time to be thankful. The pathway toward health and wholeness always begins with being thankful.

To be a Christian is to feel a sense of gratitude; to see life itself as a gift; to be able to live through suffering without being defined by it; to give hope the victory over fear. To be a Christian is to offer thanks to God, and to our community.

Precious ones, read this Psalm 107 aloud at your Thanksgiving feasts. REMEMBER the Lord’s grace during this past year in your family, faith, friends and finances, and REJOICE.
Victoria and I love you all VERY much.
May the Lord bless you and keep you! May the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you! May the Lord turn His face toward you and give you Shalom. :-)
Your "thankful" servant…Pastor Moh