Here’s a manuscript from what I said this past Sunday night at our church’s Thanksgiving Dinner…
On Sunday mornings this fall, we have begun to look at the book of Colossians. The more I steep in this book, the more the theme of thanksgiving seems to emerge.
In 1:3, Paul says “we always thank God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ when we pray for you” and continues that refrain in 1:11-12, when he told us that we please God the Father when we are “with joy giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.”
In 2:7, it is as we are “rooted and built up in Jesus Christ and established in the faith, just as you were taught,” that we will be “abounding in thanksgiving.”
In Colossians 3:15-17, Paul instructs us to “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” It seems that the constant drumbeat of those who live under the supremacy of Jesus Christ are thankful hearts.
Finally, in 4:2, Paul tells them to be passionate for prayer and thanksgiving when we he says, “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” We are called to be a grateful community. We’ve received so much more than we deserve. Therefore, tonight, we set aside a time to boast in the Lord and praise Him for the grace He’s shown us as a church.
What are you thankful for? What things has God done in your life this year? How could others be encouraged hearing of these things?
Some highlights for me included:
• Celebrating 5 years of marriage to my greatest gift, Meghan
• Purchasing a new home and moving out of an old one
• Watching God mature us and lead us and show His faithfulness with all the issues of water and mold in the basement
• Seeing God’s Word come alive in lives and hearts as we’ve studied Mark, Luke 15, Hosea and Colossians
• Deepening relationships I have with men and the Elders
• Traveling to conferences with men and other pastors, to Student Life Missions Camp, to visit the Stickels, to vacations
• Experiencing deep fellowship in small groups
• Sensing God’s encouragement as new ministries have emerged and new people have come our way
I’m sure there are other specific things you all have as well. What are some of those?