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Seeds of the Kingdom

Give Thanks

by John Berry

23 January 2015

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Give thanks in all circumstances.
1 Thessalonians 5:18, NIV

My parents-in-law celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary recently. It was quite a special day in their lives and we were very pleased to celebrate it together with them. All through the day they remarked on where they’d been 65 years before, commenting on the time the wedding ceremony would have started, then sharing memories of the journey to the station to catch their honeymoon train and the long journey itself, until they finally arrived at their honeymoon hotel.

In addition they remembered that they’d come to live with us five years previously – actually moving in the day before their diamond wedding anniversary. On the day of that anniversary we’d arranged for a friend to cook them a special meal in a nearby apartment and again they had happy memories of that day. One of the most significant things for them was how God had brought them together and sustained them throughout their married life. They were very thankful to the Lord.

It’s already a month since the celebration of the incarnation of Jesus, the time when most Christians looked back at another special event which had great impact on our lives. Christmas is a time for giving thanks to the Lord for His goodness to us in the birth of Christ. And after that we often take the New Year celebrations as a time to look back and give thanks for the Lord’s work in us in the past year.

Anniversaries and celebrations have been important occasions for giving thanks for many generations of people. Jesus celebrated the wedding of some friends who lived in Cana (John 2:1-11), and also every year would have celebrated the Passover as a child with His parents, probably at home with the family in Nazareth and at least once in Jerusalem (Luke 2:41-51). The Passover was a dedicated time of thanksgiving for God’s goodness to Israel. Later as an adult He continued the practice of celebrating Passover, and we read of His last Passover meal with His disciples in the Gospels. And the early believers were encouraged to continue the practice of giving thanks when they broke bread together and drank from the cup of thanksgiving.

Scripture tells us to ‘give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you’ (1 Thessalonians 5:18). This verse reminds us that God is in control of all things and we need to give Him thanks on a regular basis, as well as on the special occasions in our lives. When we stop and think, there’s so much to be thankful for.

My wife and I have a few years yet until we reach our 65th anniversary – it’s our 44th this year. However I hope that we’ll also fill the intervening years with sincere thanks to God for all the good things He continues to do in our lives.

Prayer: Father God we’re so grateful for the big things You’ve done in our lives – for saving us, healing us, restoring us and giving us an eternal future. Help us to be grateful continually for the everyday things as well as the special events with which you’ve blessed us. May our lives be a continual praise offering to You. Amen.

John Berry entered the Baptist Ministry more than 40 years ago, and joined the Team at Ellel Glyndley Manor in 2007 with his wife Jennie. They have both now retired from the team but remain as part of the Teaching and Associate Ministry Teams at Glyndley. John and Jennie have seven Grandchildren.

 

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