“O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever.” Psalm 107:1 (NRSV)
At the beginning of November, I begin to get excited about the upcoming holidays. It is a season of days set aside for remembering: the saints who have passed the faith onto us, those who offer themselves in service to others, the many blessings we enjoy, and the gift of God’s Son, who came that we may have life, and have it abundantly (John 10:10b).
During this season, we naturally want to show our appreciation. We send cards to friends and family. We invite others to gather around the table with us to share times of food and fellowship. We reconnect with old friends, and connect with new. We give gifts, offer hospitality, and share our time with those we love.
It is also a time when we are aware of all that God has done for us. “Every good gift, every perfect gift, comes from above. These gifts come down from the Father, the creator of the heavenly lights, in whose character there is no change” (James 1:17, CEB). God provides food when we are hungry, water when we thirst, healing and comfort when we are sick, and is an ever-present help in time of trouble. We want to say, “Thank you.” But somehow that doesn’t seem to be enough.
Jesus told us how we can we respond. Jesus said, “Whatever you do for the least of these brothers of mine, you do it for me” (Matthew 25:40). That means when we provide for those who need help, it is the same as doing it for Jesus. Calvary is a church on a mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
There are many ways the ministries of Calvary express our gratitude for what God has done and is doing for us. I like to call our grateful response “thanks-living.” It is a way of showing our thanks to God by the way we live. “Thanks-living” is looking at the many ways God is at work in our lives, and thanking God by being a blessing to others.
Throughout November, we will have the opportunity to pledge our time, talent, and treasure to God through the ministries of Calvary. I hope you’ll join me in committing to make 2018 a year of “Thanks-living.”