My wife and I have skipped Thanksgiving the last couple years. No, it was not for any real reason, except that we needed to use vacation time, and this just seemed like a good time. She and I would go get a cabin in the wilderness, make our own small meals (pizza bagels are our favorite), spend time hiking and enjoying a jacuzzi, and overall just resting.
Both are Thanksgiving, yet both seem to miss the concept of giving thanks.
I have been focusing on Philippians in my bible reading. Let me rephrase: I have been obsessing over Philippians in my bible reading time. I am slowly working on memorizing the entire book as a way to keep a promise I made to God way back in high school. I am not doing great, but in the process, I am finding Paul's words shattering my world and rebuilding it into something new.
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayer for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this: that he who began a good work in you will carry it on unto completion until the day of Christ Jesus.Paul is not thankful for abundance, riches, comforts, family, security, or freedom in this text.
Paul is thankful for partners.
Paul realized that great gift of God known as teammates. He knew he wasn't the only one working to share the faith, to advance the gospel, to spread grace and truth.
I have been blessed with great partners in the gospel (many of whom I have never met). I am thankful for my wife, who tirelessly puts ministry above self. I am thankful for Chuck, John and both of their families. God has bless our church with Elders and Deacons who serve and lead us well. I am thankful for them. I am thankful for the parents of our youth and children who work so hard to raise their children in the truth of Jesus.
Paul is thankful because God is working in the life of the Philippians
I know God is working in our midst. I have seen God change the hearts of youth this year. I have witnessed a number of baptisms this year, as well as listened to testimony after testimony of God working. Our God continues to work to complete our faith until the time that he returns.
Paul is thankful TO God.
Let us not forget that we are not just thankful to ourselves for doing a good job, or thankful that luck has given us a good bounce. We are thankful to the God of the universe, who works all things together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose.
Happy Thanksgiving Lowell Church of Christ!