giving thanks and the Eucharist
since we are in the week of ‘Thanksgiving’ in America – I decided to do a word study on the word thanks. If you have ever been to this site before you should know I have an interest in etymology, and I use the Blue Letter Bible a lot in my studies. In doing a search on thanks, I discovered many interesting facts – but the one that surprised me the most was this (from Wikipedia);
The Greek noun eukharistia (??????????) derives from eu- “well” + kharis “favor, grace”. Eukharisteo (?????????) is the usual verb for “to thank”
The Eucharist means literally to thank. I have for years thought of communion and the Eucharist meaning roughly the same thing – but for some reason I did not necesarily equate ‘do this in remberence of me’- and ‘be thankful’. Weird huh? Clearly when we participate in communion, one of the verses quoted is that Jesus took the cup and gave thanks, so – the teaching is there – I just never knew eucharist means to thank. Anyway – my point here is that we need to be mindful, be thankful, and take note of what Jesus Christ did on the cross, shedding his blood for your sins and mine, in order to defeat the works of the devil and give us freedom, true love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Far more amazing than just turkey and potatoes. Don’t get me wrong – food is great, and here again Jesus instructs us to break bread and drink wine with a sense of solemn appreciation for the life He offers.
Colossians 2:7 suggests we abound in thanksgiving…and abound means more or less to go beyond the limits – so you can imagine in this context there are many opportunities for thanksgiving, be creative (are you thankful you see, hear, walk – let alone have a fridge full of food, how about money – are you expressing thanks by helping those with less? aren’t the amenities of electricity and running water great?).
So celebrate. I don’t believe God wants us to feel guilty for his favor – enjoy the food, family, laughs, time off, travel, games, eats, treats and incredible standard of living we have. Along with this remember our Lord, author of all things good, and the importance of a lifestyle of giving thanks and expressing this daily through our interactions with our fellow man, and to him whom much is given, much is expected.
Thank you Lord Jesus for being crucified on the cross for my sins.