“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!”
Sacrifice and Thanksgiving are inseparable. When I ponder things to be thankful for, it seems nothing on my list would exist without sacrifice. And often sacrifice that included (or includes) great risk. I suppose it’s only natural that a greater sacrifice triggers within me a greater degree of thankfulness. Yet I know we must be grateful for small things too.
We visited Plymouth Massachusetts a few months ago and were reminded of tremendous sacrifice and risk when we toured the Mayflower II, an exact replica of the original 1620 vessel. The living conditions and all the unknowns that over 100 men, women and children faced to come to America is mind boggling.
Then I was thinking about the soldier, the police officer, the fireman, the teacher, the pastor, parents, grandparents, a dear friend, a nurse, a neighbor, a Good Samaritan, a husband, a wife, or any one of a hundred more we could list. Sacrifice + risk = thanksgiving. If it doesn’t, shame on me.
But I must conclude with mentioning the sacrifice of all sacrifices. Jesus, God’s Son, dying on a cross on behalf of and in the place of all of us. Every tribe, every tongue, every nation. No one excluded. He rose from the grave, and by doing so, conquered death for all who would follow Him. This deserves to be at the top of our thanksgiving list.