Our congregation traditionally has a Thanksgiving Eve service each year. Thinking about my sermon for that service, I thought about Jesus giving thanks at the last supper. When else did Jesus give thanks? When he fed the 5,000, when he thanked his father for hearing him before he raised Lazarus from the tomb, and when he thanked his father that some spiritual truths were hidden from the wise and revealed to little ones.
Preaching on thanksgiving isn’t always easy. Those who come to worship are thankful and generous people. I don’t have to remind them to give thanks. We do it all the time. But we don’t always get to do it together, and that’s what makes it special.
A gathering of family and friends, a meal, and a word of thanks. On TV, it’s heartfelt and sentimental. With Jesus, it’s sacramental and sacrificial. Most of our thanksgivings could use a little depth. Perhaps this is a way to accomplish that. I’m not exactly sure where I’ll go with this, but I find it personally very interesting.
We usually think of Jesus as the one we thank. Sometimes he’s the one doing the thanking. I can even hear him saying, “Thanks,” to a disciple who handed him some food or got him a drink. When the Son of God is thankful for something, we should pay attention.