Search This Blog

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Just Who Are You Giving Thanks To?

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (ESV)
18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Lots of people wished me a happy Thanksgiving yesterday. Maybe it was scripted. Maybe their bosses told them that they had to. I don't know. I wonder if people know that Thanksgiving assumes that there is Someone to give thanks to.

Last year, my wife had surgery for breast cancer right before Thanksgiving. I preached a sermon which told the congregation that we should give thanks anyway because the Scripture tells us to do so in all circumstances. I wasn't thankful for my wife's breast cancer. I was thankful to God for watching over her. He did and as far as we know she is cancer free. This year I have a new crisis. I am thankful to God for handling it. I haven't seen Him act yet but I know that He will.

But what about the people who don't actually believe in a God who loves, knows and works on our behalf? Who are they being thankful to when they tell us that we should be thankful? Should we thank our lucky stars or Mother Earth or someone other nonsense? Why should we even thank each other if there is no God. Without a God who brings grace and goodness into the world we have a population of narcissistic, self-centered, self serving people who are merely responding to our own programming brought on by the environment in which we have existed. In other words, we are no better than the computer I am using with all of its zeros and ones. Why should we thank the computer since it is only responding to its own programming. And if no programmer exists for us, then there is no one to thank for the goodness we bestow on others because we are simply responding in a way which serves us best even if that is working to hear someone tell us thanks.

The lack of God eliminates the need for being thankful at all.

I recently read that a significant number of atheist pray. I am perplexed. Who are they praying to? Why are they praying at all if they say they don't believe in God? Do they believe that the universe responds to people who pray? Doesn't that assume that there is someone running the universe if they can manipulate that person into doing what they want? Or, is this something that is left over from our creation? Is there a longing to be reunited with God even if we vehemently deny He exists? Could this be an instinctive left over from the Garden of Eden?

But, I suppose none of this really should matter to me. I am thankful because I know God. I believe that He knows every crisis that I face and He has a solution for each of them. One day I will face death. He already has a solution for that. I am thankful that I can face that tomorrow because I know Him to keep every word He has said.

I am thankful to the Almighty, Everlasting, Omniscient, all loving God. Who else is there to be thankful to?

No comments: