Mr. V has been reminding the Grammar School students all week that we should give thanks always for all things, and this means thanksgiving is not just for one day or one week of the year. For Christians giving thanks is both a discipline to be practiced each day – indeed, at all times – and a beautiful virtue with which to adorn our lives. This morning in Morning Assembly here is what I shared with the students and teachers.
It’s sad that at Thanksgiving each year there are many people who give thanks but don’t know to whom or to what they are returning thanks. But it’s not so for us. As children of God we know that when we give thanks, we are thanking God Almighty, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Triune God who has revealed Himself in His Word.
So when we give thanks, we thank God the Creator. “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge,” declares Psalm 19:1-2. Consider how perfectly God created the earth. The earth is about 93 million miles from the sun, but if it were slightly closer or slightly further our planet would be too cold or too hot to support life. The earth’s axis tilts at 23.5 degrees, but if it were only slightly different the seasons would freeze out or burn up all life. Liquid water, tides, magnetic field, chlorophyll, gravity – it’s all a miracle! Every day and night, every changing leaf, every vibrant sunset, every sublime mountain vista, every insect (well, most insects), we should be thanking God for the wonder of His amazing creation that shows forth the power and wisdom and glory of His handiwork.
When we give thanks, we thank God the Father. Jesus taught us in the Gospel of Matthew, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (7:7-11). God’s Fatherly care surrounds us. When we eat at our feasts, enjoy the company of family and friends, worship without fear of enemies arresting us, receive answers to prayer, rest in comfortable homes, and take advantage of technological wonders of which previous generations could not have even dreamed, we should direct our constant thanks to God, who in His Fatherly care gives boundlessly – simply because He is good and delights in giving good gifts to His children.
And finally, when we give thanks, we give thanks to God the Redeemer. St. Paul wrote, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8). All of God’s gifts are yes and amen in Christ Jesus, whose life, death, and resurrection is the true gift that secures all good things for us, His children. He is the One who redeems our lives from the pit and crowns us with love and compassion (Ps 103:4).
It is indeed the season of thanks. Thank you, parents, for your commitment to Regents Academy. Thank you for the trust you invest in us with the precious gift of your children. I thank God for the mission and the people of Regents Academy.