Give Thanks {or How to Say Grace}

Good Morning Girls published a Thanksgiving study this fall. {Check them out! Here’s the link: GMG.}

When I started it I expected a little bit of poking and a whole lot of prodding to fabricate thankfulness.  I expected souvenir trinket writing – glittery enough to please a child and easily forgotten when misplaced. I expected the obvious, the cliche, the predictable.

What I found instead was an insatiable itch just above {and slightly behind} my right ear. With a cocked head and squinted eyes I caught a glimmer of something shiny and new in Colossians 3:17.

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Did you spot it? Like my child hunting for the hidden object in an I Spy book, did you overlook these words hidden in plain sight?

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Jesus spoke them over the loaves and fishes. “And having given thanks He broke them and gave them to the disciples…” {Matthew 15:36}

Jesus whispered these words at the last supper. “And when He had said these things, He took bread, and giving thanks to God in the presence of all he broke it and began to eat.” {Acts 27:35}

Even author, blogger, and homeschool Momma of 6, Ann VosKamp penned more than 1,000 words giving thanks for 1,000 Gifts.

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That phrase, giving thanks, is translated eucharisteo – a Latin word from eu (well) and charizomai (to do a favor, to show kindness unconditionally, to give freely, grant forgiveness; from the root charis, meaning grace).

In other words, whatever you do in word or deed, you do all in the name of  the Lord Jesus, giving Grace freely, and freely giving Grace through Jesus. Eucharisteo is another form of forgiveness.

When Jesus spoke over the loaves and fishes, he did not simply, “say grace” as this good Catholic girl splattered over her dinner each night.

No. Jesus gave Grace. He gave forgiveness. He gave Grace freely and well.

When He used these words at the last supper, He took bread, and freely forgave in the presence of all.

When Ann penned thankfulness and gratitude for 1000 Gifts, she simply recognized God’s abundant Grace, recognized her undeserved gifts, recognized all God’s charizomai. And proclaimed, “All is Grace.”

give thanks4So here I sit, the day after Thanksgiving, marveling wide-eyed at God’s message of Grace, God’s desire to freely give and give freely, and His dare for me to do the same.

If truth be told, I struggle to conjure up thankfulness, much less forgiveness.  If perspective is like a ship at sea, I’m the rusty anchor pulling the ship down, and my husband is the brilliant buoy keeping the ship afloat.

So the idea of God daring me to give Grace freely, to forgive freely terrorized me. I could no longer rely upon my buoy to access fresh air when my heavy heart dragged me under.  Now I must dare to breath deep, lunge low, and scour the broken, unforgiven {and unforgiving} relationships that cling to me like barnacles under a dock. Now I need to work.

No, Thanksgiving and thankfulness will never look the same. Giving thanks and saying Grace will never sound the same. It all leads to forgiveness. To forgive.full.ness.

May it be that…

Whatever I do in word or deed, I do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving Grace, forgiving freely through Him {that is, Jesus}.

Photo Credits {HERE}

Might I Pray for Us?

Dearest Jesus,

You promise to never leave us nor forsake us. Even when we discover a Truth we’ve overlooked in the past, now asks so much of our future. We confess that fear threatens to overtake our mind, and bludgeons our courage. Thank you that Your promises remain true no matter what perspective we hold.  Help us to obey. Amen.