Give Thanks: His Name Is Near!

A woman was obviously afraid of her flight to St. Paul.  As she sat waiting for takeoff, she looked across the aisle out the window at a beautiful sunset.  Then she turned her head to the left and looked out the window next to her seat, only to see a depressing scene of paramedics helping a baggage worker who had lost consciousness.


Just like our journey through life, there are scenes of sunshine as well as depressing scenes of challenge all around.  The destination doesn’t depend upon which scene we look at.  Our journey will still end with the joy of eternal life with Jesus.  But along the way we can either dwell on the gloomy picture.  Or we can focus on the things that bring joy and sunshine to our lives.


Especially in our relationships – such as within the family and the church – we can become either grateful or resentful, depending on our point of focus.  We all have annoying habits and faults.  And at the same time there is so much positive brought into our lives by these same persons.  Why not appreciate and dwell on the benefits instead of looking for the faults?


From our perspective there are storms and sunshine, good and bad times, happy and sad situations in each of our lives.  But from God’s perspective He has a loving plan being worked through it all for us.  We have reason to be grateful all the time!  Because of His undeserved love for us – His amazing grace seen in the saving work of Jesus – there is healing in the midst of sickness, forgiveness to light the burden of guilt, provision when finances seem at their worst, eternal life even when surrounded by death.  That’s why Paul, with the crucified and risen Christ as the center of his troubled and turbulent life, was empowered to say, “We know that all things work together for good to those that love Him.” (Romans 8:28)


During this time of Thanksgiving, with the continuing challenge of Covid, whatever the situation in our lives, we live our gratitude to God!  “We give thanks because His name is near!”  He has sent His Son to Bethlehem, the cross and through the grave in resurrection for each of us!  He is now so near to us in Baptism that He has become one in relationship with our lives.  He’s in control!  May we reflect our thanks for Him by carrying His strength and peace into our lives of relationship with each other and those around us in our worlds!  May we tell of His wondrous deeds!  A blessed Thanksgiving to you and yours!  Pastor Craig