May 12, 2013
Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon His Name; make known His deeds among the peoples! Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; tell of all His wondrous works! Glory in His holy Name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice! Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His presence continually! Remember the wondrous works that He has done, His miracles, and the judgments He uttered. Psalm 105:1-5
We live in an age where best-selling authors can salt away a fortune.
One of the first writers who was well paid for this work was India-born Rudyard Kipling. Mastering the ability to write poetry, short stories, and novels, Kipling was immensely popular. Indeed, at one time someone calculated he was receiving the unheard-of sum of ten shillings per word.
Naturally that kind of news was intriguing to folks, especially aspiring writers who were attending college. Some of those students gathered together and summoned up the courage to send a semi-serious letter to the author. Since he was getting paid so much, they wondered if Kipling would be so kind as to "send us your best word."
It took some time, but eventually they did receive a reply letter with Kipling's name on the return address. Eagerly they opened the epistle, unfolded the paper, and read what the author considered to be his "best" word.
The word was "thanks."
Others would agree. Back when I was fresh out of seminary, one of my experienced and esteemed colleagues took me aside and said, "Ken, I don't know what your future is going to be, but I can give you this piece of advice, which will be of help in every congregation and every situation." I leaned forward so as not to miss what was coming. He said, "It doesn't cost you anything to say "thanks."
Unfortunately, there are many people who forget to thank each other and, even worse, they forget to thank the Lord. All too often they act as if God was obligated to them, and the only time they needed to address their Creator was when they were angry with Him, because they were carrying a cross or dealing with some kind of problem.
That is amazing to me.
Consider what our eternity would be like if the Divinity hadn't sent His Son into this world to take our place, win forgiveness for us, and save our souls. Think about the many daily blessings God gives, the problems He helps us carry, the strength He shares.
An honest person would find himself giving thanks to the Lord 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
As the Palmist said -- if we remember the wondrous works that He has done, His miracles, and the judgments He uttered, we would not be able to stop ourselves from giving thanks to the Lord; calling upon His Name and making known His deeds among the peoples.
Yes, we would give our thanks because the Lord has given us His best Word: Savior.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, keep me from callous ingratitude. Instead of taking You for granted, let my appreciation for Jesus my Savior grow stronger every day. This I ask in His Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries