“I thank my God every time I remember you” (Philippians 1:3).
As we celebrate Thanksgiving, I would like for us to consider what we are giving thanks for. We normally think about the things we are grateful and thankful for. That’s a good thing to do. There are many reasons for being grateful and for giving thanks. However, there is something embedded in the word “thanks” that gives us the core reason for giving thanks.
What does it mean to give thanks? What’s involved? What are the etymological roots?
The Greek word for thanks is eucharisteo.
- You recognize this word? That’s right. This is where we get the word “eucharist” – the celebration of the Lord’s Supper.
- At the heart of the word is the Greek word “charis” pronounced karis
- Charis literally means grace
Every time we give thanks, what we are giving thanks for is God’s amazing grace. This amazing grace is demonstrated through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ which we celebrate every time we take communion, the holy eucharist.
So, it is quite appropriate that we celebrate Thanksgiving with a feast for the feast is not only about turkey and fixings, but the gift of eternal life through God’s Son Jesus Christ.
We never give thanks in a vacuum. We give thanks in response to what God has already done. That this is the case is already embedded in the word “thanks”. We give thanks for God’s grace, for God’s gift of eternal life through his Son, Jesus Christ.
As you celebrate Thanksgiving today, remember why we give thanks. It’s all because of what God has already done for us through Jesus Christ.