Thanksgiving with Jesus

At this time of year suggestions abound about the priorities of thanksgiving. Family, friends, home and country are contenders for the most important places on our list as we thank God for His blessings. But what would Jesus do? His example is the best to follow.

Jesus gave thanks for the simplicity of the Gospel. “Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes” (Matthew 11:25). Aren’t you thankful that His salvation is available to you on the basis of simple faith? Tell Him of your gratefulness. Thank Him!

Jesus also gave thanks for daily food. When feeding five thousand with a few loaves and fishes, John says that Jesus took the loaves and “when he had given thanks, he distributed the food to the disciples” (John 6:11). You may not take time to give thanks for your food, but Jesus did. He held the loaves made from grain that He had brought into existence, and gave thanks.

Jesus even gave thanks for His cross. His most difficult act of thanksgiving must have been at the first communion table. Paul wrote: “And when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me” (I Corinthians 11:24). That broken bread symbolized His coming death, yet He gave thanks. Anyone can be thankful for sunshine and success, but what about the crosses and losses?

At this Thanksgiving, let us follow our Lord. “In everything give thanks” (I Thessalonians 5:18).