St. Paul's Lutheran Church

St. Paul's Evangelical Free Lutheran Church

21513 Leitersburg-Smithsburg Road

Hagerstown, MD 21742

301-739-5442

Evangelical - Confessional - Faithful

The Pastor's Thoughts

"...we also believe and so we also speak, knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into His presence.  For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving to the glory of God...For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.  For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 4

Some years ago a songwriter named Don Moen penned a praise song you have no doubt heard — it was called simply Gove Thanks, and it began with the refrain "Give thatnks with a grateful hearg, give thanks to the Holy One, give thanks for He's given Jesus Christ for us."

Now I admit I'm generally not a big fan of praise songs for a number of reasons — but this one gets it right. We should give thanks for everything we have in this world, for none of it comes except through the grace of God. Even people who don't believe in God or Jesus receive gifts of grace in the food they eat, the homes they live in and so on. Their very being exists because God has willed that they exist. All good things are grace.

But if, this Thanksgiving, we gather to proclaim our gratitude for family, food, home and the thinkgs of this life, we are missing what really matters — Jesus and the Gospel.

In the world today we have literally millions of our Christian brothers and sisters who are suffering under severe attack from the forces of Satan. Far too may of our brethren will die soon for their faith — either killed outright as was done last week in Kenya, or slowly killed by difficult imprisonment as is happening today in India and other places. And yet, I have no fear in saying that most of these victims of the world's evils would join with us in giving thanks for Jesus Christ who came, lived, died and rose again that those who believe in Him will never die but have eternal life.

Giving thanks for all of God's gifts is indeed right and proper for us to do. But we ought never brush too quickly over the greatest gift of all — eternal life through Jesus our Lord.

As you say grace over your Thanksgiving dinner spend a little more time thanking God that He who is perfect and holy will accept us as we are for the sake of Jesus.

Pr. Culler