From the Concordia family to yours: Happy Thanksgiving! Today’s post comes from Concordia Chaplain Rev. Robert Wacker. Concordia has an excellent Chaplaincy Department that actively contributes to our patients’ and residents’ spritual well being. Enjoy!
In our hymnal we have a hymn titled “Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart.” With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I couldn’t help but think of this hymn. Thanksgiving is a time when we think about what we are thankful and grateful for in our lives. The hymn goes like this:
Give thanks with a grateful heart,
Give thanks to the Holy One,
Give thanks because He’s given
Jesus Christ His Son.
And now let the weak say “I am strong,”
Let the poor say “I am rich,”
Because of what the Lord has done for us.
Give thanks, give thanks.
(LSB Hymn #806; © 1978 Integrity’s Hosanna! Music. Used by permission: LSB Hymn License .NET, no. 100013631)
In faith we give thanks to God for all that He has done for us: forgiveness, salvation, strength, the eternal riches of eternal life, and the sacrifice of His one and only Son Jesus Christ that sets us free from the wages of sin and death, so that we in our sin may die with Christ, and rise with Him from the death reconciled to God forgiven and free. Despite all this we often are burdened by the cares of this world.
The burdens of this world can be taxing during the holidays, especially when a loved one is ill, sick, or in a care facility; or if you are the one who is not feeling well and have a lot to do or a lot to care for. The added stress at holidays can put us on edge, and we may feel weak and heavy laden. The Apostle Paul comes to a realization about weakness that he expresses in His 2nd letter to the Corinthians:
7b Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:7b-10; NIV)
Where we have weakness or feel weak, it is there that God provides strength in Faith through Jesus Christ. For His power is made perfect in weakness. It is that same weakness that He bore to the cross on your behalf, died in your place. He being strong rose victorious over death for you, giving you new life for all eternity. That you may see that where we are weak Christ Jesus is Strong, and will give you the strength to endure all evil things until His return. His grace is sufficient for your life, because He has given you Jesus Christ.
As you celebrate Thanksgiving this year and as those well laid plans go awry, the burdens of the world weigh you down, and weakness seems to set in. Know that the power of Christ rests on you, and that in Him, where you are weak you are now strong, where you feel poor you now have the riches of Christ. God, in Jesus Christ gives you His Grace which is sufficient for you to endure all weakness and brings you delight for Christ’s sake. In faith you have a grateful heart and are able to give thanks for all He has done for you. For where you are weak, then you are strong in Christ Jesus.
Heavenly Father, thank You for all You have done for me in Christ. When I am weak help me in faith to see the strength You give me in Christ Jesus my Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, world without end. Amen.
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