Lutheran Lectionary for the Day of Thanksgiving, November 26, 2020, 2 Corinthians 9:6-15
And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work. (v. 8 nrsv)
In 2 Corinthians 9, St. Paul is calling his church in Corinth to remember God’s abundance of blessings and to share those blessings with the poor saints in Jerusalem.
As we gather on Thanksgiving Day with family and friends for a delicious feast, we are indeed reminded of the abundance of blessings God bestows upon us.
In Martin Luther’s Small Catechism, he explains the meaning of the First Article of the Apostles’ Creed (I believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.) That explanation gives us much to ponder about God’s generous goodness toward us.
Luther explained: I believe that God has made me and all creatures: that He has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my members, my reason and all my senses, and still takes care of them. He also gives me clothing and shoes, food and drink, house and home, wife and children, land, animals, and all I have. He richly and daily provides me with all that I need to support this body and life… Then Luther wrote about God’s divine goodness and mercy toward us.
Now that is quite a list of divine gifts for which we can be thankful to God our Father and Creator.
But after St. Paul proclaims God’s abundance of blessings, he also comments on our faithful response. This apostle wrote, that you may share abundantly in every good work.
What are some of those good works? Who could use a week’s supply of groceries? Who could use socks, shoes, or a warm winter coat? How can we help the homeless who seek shelter from icy and freezing weather? Do we know of anyone who needs some mentoring with the good reason God has bestowed upon us?
As we gather today to share a meal of abundance, we may use Luther’s words as a guide for our prayer of thanksgiving. We may also choose to say or sing the words of a familiar Thanksgiving hymn, Now Thank We All Our God.
Now thank we all our God with heart and hands and voices, who wondrous things have done, in whom his world rejoices.
Who from our mother’s arms have blessed us on our way with countless gifts of love and still is ours today. (first stanza)
(Words and music on hymnary.org)
Happy Thanksgiving! Thanks be to God!