“Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God forever and ever. Amen!” Revelation 7:12
Thanksgiving Day and the end of the Christian church year occur around the same time, near the end of November. They present contrasting scenes. The first conjures up thoughts of the family gathered around a bountiful table, voraciously consuming turkey and dressing. Thanksgiving, yes, but short-lived and often directed more toward material blessings.
The second suggests Judgment Day and then the gathering of the saints around the throne of the Lamb. There the multitudes of the redeemed join with the angels in an endless song of praise. It continues forever and focuses on God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – who loves us and chose us as His people. This celebration combines Christmas Eve and Easter worship, infinitely magnified.
How can our thanksgiving each day become less like a short-lived Thanksgiving Day and more like the endless thanksgiving before the throne described in Revelation? We first confess that our old nature, still clinging to us, is indeed thankless. On our own, we cannot participate in endless thanksgiving.
Admitting our failure, we look to the Lamb. Jesus Christ came for us. His perfect life and self-giving death on the cross offered a spotless sacrifice to the Father. God now stands before us with His love and forgiveness, not just on Thanksgiving Day but 365 days a year. We also join the praising crowd in the fellowship of God’s people gathered around Word and sacrament. There we join with angels and archangels and all the company of heaven in praising God. Every Sunday is a thanksgiving before the throne.
PRAYER: Praise and thanks to You, eternal God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – now and forevermore. Amen.
(Devotions from “My Daily Devotion” by Dr. Stephen J. Carter, copyright 1988 CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For ordering information, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit www.cph.org.)
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