Remembrance as Thanksgiving

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Is your stomach ready for Thanksgiving?  Many of us are preparing to feast this Thursday with family and friends.  To prepare for the feast, some of us might hit the gym a little harder this week.  We might even skip a meal on Wednesday so we can eat more on Thursday.  We will spend hours preparing the turkey and all the delicious side dishes.  It will be a grand day of feasting and celebrating.  However, as our stomachs for thanksgiving, we must first and foremost prepare our hearts.  

Thanksgiving is first and foremost a day to give thanks.  We will spend that time thanking God for all the incredibly blessings he has given us.  We will thank God for our family.  We will thank God for our friends.  We will thank him for our home and all the material blessings that he gives us.  However don't you dare forget to thank God for that what you should most be thankful!  You redemption given you through Jesus Christ.  

In one of the Psalms of Thanksgiving, Psalm 111, the Psalmist invites us to carefully think about and remember the works of the Lord.  A key part of showing thanks is remembrance.  I love reminiscing with old friends.  You get together with a friend you haven't seen in a while and you start talking about "the good ol' days".  You remember and reflect about the past.  You laugh a lot and your heart is filled with joy.  Let me ask you a question.  When was the last time you reminisced about the glorious work God has done in your life?  When was the last time you took a second to remember what God has done for you through Jesus?  A key part of showing thanks is remembrance.  This is why the ordinance of the Lord's Supper is given to us by Jesus.  As we take the Lord's supper, Jesus tells us to do this in remembrance of Him.  Thanksgiving is rooted in remembrance.  

Why does the Bible instruct us to remember so much?  Well we are forgetful people. We get so consumed with the present and worried about the future, that we neglect to remember the past.  This is why the Bible calls us to remembrance.  When we remember what God has done in our lives, our hearts become filled with Thanksgiving.  

So this week take thirty minutes, get off by yourself, and remember all that God has done in your life.  Or better yet, around the thanksgiving table start remembering together the faithfulness of God in your life.  Listen to each other's stories, and give thanks to God for his marvelous works.  As you remember, you will find your heart filled with Thanksgiving.  

As Christians we have so much to be thankful for.  As Psalm 111:9 puts it we should be thankful because, "He sent redemption to his people; he has commanded his covenant for ever.  Holy and awesome is His name!".  You see redemption has come and his name is Jesus.  Our sin has been paid.  God's relentless covenantal love has pursued us and reconciled us back to the Father.  We who enemies of God have now been adopted as sons.  We have much to be thankful for.   So thank God for your family.  Thank God for your friends.  Thank God for all your material blessings.  But don't you dare forget what you should most be thankful for, redemption given to you through Jesus.  Remember the cross.  Remember your savior.  Then you will find your heart filled with Thanksgiving.