“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
–1 Thessalonians 5:18
As we move into a week in which we will celebrate Thanksgiving Day, we seek to find a sense of grace in a world that seems to be more and more busy, and less and less thankful.
In the First Letter to the Thessalonians, the Apostle Paul writes about giving thanks in all circumstances. This is difficult when we think of the pain, hurt, and frustration of many of the circumstances of our lives. But, Paul is clear that this thanks is IN all circumstance and not FOR all circumstances. Certainly we are not thankful for every circumstance we face, but we can be thankful in all circumstances, knowing that God is with us in the midst of all things.
There are two songs we tend to sing in worship during this week of Thanksgiving. I offer some of the words of each song to you as we reflect on giving thanks in all circumstances.
The words to one were originally written in 1663 and it is the hymn “Now Thank We All Our God.” The first verse says, “Now thank we all our God, with heart and hands and voices, who wondrous things has done, in whom this world rejoices; who from our mothers’ arms has blessed us on our way with countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.”
The words to the second song were written in 1978. The song “Give Thanks With a Grateful Heart” simply says, “Give thanks with a grateful heart, give thanks to the Holy One, give thanks because God’s given Jesus Christ God’s Son. And now let the weak say, ‘I am strong;’ let the poor say, ‘I am rich’ because of what the Lord has done for us. Give thanks. Give thanks!”
Blessings on a Thanksgiving filled with gratitude in all circumstance.