There is a reason why our culture has so enthusiastically embraced annual birthday and wedding remembrances. Time slides by, and we tend to take one another for granted. Birthdays and anniversaries are helpful reminders about the importance of the dear people whom God has sent into our lives.
An annual call to national thanksgiving is just as urgent and helpful. President Lincoln knew that America badly needed God’s help, and even in a time of terrible war, he wanted Americans to pause and express their gratitude for all the divine interventions and blessings that made their lives better.
Sinners like us need periodic wake-up calls to notice God’s working in our lives. Our instincts are either to take his gifts without noticing or thinking or to suppose that everything good in our lives comes from our own achievement.
St. Paul knew how engaged our Lord is in the lives of each believer, and he urged a Greek congregation and he urges us to pause, notice, understand cause and effect, and make a joyful noise of thanksgiving: “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
What three treasures in your life can you trace back to God’s kindly giving?
Pastor Mark Jeske has been bringing the Word of God to viewers of Time of Grace since the program began airing in late 2001. A Milwaukee native, Pastor Jeske has served as the senior pastor at St. Marcus, a multicultural congregation on Milwaukee’s near north side since 1980. In addition, he is the author of six books and dozens of devotional booklets on various topics.
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