Why Should I Give Thanks? For what?
11 Then you and your family must celebrate by eating a meal at the place of worship to thank the LORD your God for giving you such a good harvest. And remember to invite the Levites and the foreigners who live in your town. Deut. 26:11 CEV
But anyone who has been forgiven for only a little will show only a little love.”
48 Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven.”
49 Some other guests started saying to one another, “Who is this who dares to forgive sins?”
50 But Jesus told the woman, “Because of your faith, you are now saved.t May God give you peace!” Luke 7:47-50 CEV
Agape also looks at the true, real, and objective good of the beloved rather than at subjective feelings, whether of the lover or of the beloved. It looks at needs rather than wants.
I imagine that when Simon the Pharisee invited Jesus to a special dinner, he thought he was doing Jesus a favor. Give the homeless but popular Rabbi some food, introduce him to some powerful people. give him a chance to get a leg up in life.
Simon may have even thought he might learn a thing to use in a lesson he would teach later. If you would have asked him if he was thankful for the presence of Jesus in his home, he would probably just.. stare at you, as if you were on some planet.
I wonder if we treat God the same way.
We do our devotions, we try not to sin, we go to church and even give some money, and God should be thankful to us. We would never say it, but we often treat God like He should be thankful for us!
So like Simon, we forget what God is doing in our lives, we forget how much He loves us.
The people of God were told that after they made their sacrifice of the first blessings of the harvest, they were to eat a meal to give thanks to God for the harvest. Eat of the very things God provided in the harvest, but here is the point, to thank God for what He provided! They were to be so thankful, that they invited others to share in the feast- others that God may not have provided for at all.
That’s where Kreeft’s comment intersects with this thought. We have to realize that God has enough wisdom to know where and how to answer our prayers. More importantly, that His love looks at the objective good, and provides for what we need, not just the things that will make us wise, or content.
Including the forgiveness of all of our sin, and in doing so, revealing to us the love and interest God has in our life. I don’t think we can see what to be thankful for, that He is providing in our lives. But realize what that forgiveness opens up for us, what it reveals to us, that is the beginning of realizing what it means when you hear, “The Lord is with you!”
So let’s have a feast, in the presence of God, and give thanks for all He has done!
(Don’t forget to invite a foreigner and those who don’t get the same provision you do!)
Peter Kreeft, The God Who Loves You (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2004), 67.