Thoughts about thanksgiving (3)

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I’m continuing to blog through the question “Why is thanksgiving so important?”

Thankfulness rests on a robust doctrine of what theologians call “common grace” Ephesians 5:20 says:

“…always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Did you see that “always giving thanks… for everything.” I suspect that its the case that When we think about grace, we naturally think about “saving grace.” That is we think about the way in which God shows his grace to us in Jesus’ dying for us, saving us, forgiving us, giving us new life and a future hope.

But is that all that God’s grace consists of? James 1:17 says:

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

That is to say that the sun comes up, and the grass grows, and government happens, and you can go to the doctor for a pill that makes you better, and authors write great books, and painters paint great paintings and musicians write sublime music, and all of that is is an expression of God’s grace. Every Good and perfect gift from above is an expression of God’s “common grace.”

There is a harvest hymn that transforms this understanding of common grace into thanksgiving:

All good gifts around us
Are sent from heaven above,
So thank the Lord,
Oh thank the Lord
For all his love.

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