#thanksgiving, Community, Leadership

Giving Thanks, Breaking, Giving Away–A Thanks-Living Challenge

By Danya M. Jordan

Have you ever read a verse you’ve read many times before and was finally hit by its profound Truth? On this Thanksgiving week during these uncertain times, one such verse hit me. A simple verse, really.

“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to His disciples, saying “Take and eat; this is My body.'” –Matthew 26:26.

From the first Lord’s Supper to today’s Lord’s Supper, the same sentiment is expressed in each sacrament. Jesus took the bread, gave thanks, broke it, and gave it away.

Two points jump out at me.

1) Jesus took and gave thanks.

2) Jesus broke it and gave it away.

Point one: May we/I give thanks for everything we are given, for every person, every circumstance in our life–even during COVID-19. May we have an attitude of gratitude. 

It’s hard to grumble when you’re grateful. So often I/we complain over what we don’t have instead of thanking God for the many blessings we do have. I am so guilty of this. Forgive me.

Point two: Jesus broke the bread before He gave it away. Although Jesus could, He does not use anything or anyone unless the item or person is broken. The bread was/is broken, not whole. The wine came/comes from smushed, fermented grapes. Even His own body had to be broken on the cross to save all of us from our sins. He broke Himself in order to give Himself away. May it be so of us.

Jesus does not use us unless we are broken and available to Him. The only people in the Bible Jesus couldn’t stand were those people who acted like they had it all together—the Pharisees.  We are the most whole in Christ when we admit to our brokenness.

Thanks and Brokenness. Jesus both focused on gratitude and brokenness in life and in the sacrament of communion.

Side note. I love stained glass. Do you know why I love beautiful stained glass so much? Stained glass is simply broken shards of glass arranged in a pattern. It is only when Light shines through the brokenness that we can see the beautiful image and purpose. That’s us. That’s you. That’s me.

As we prepare to celebrate our national holiday of Thanksgiving, may we use Jesus’ example to take and give thanks.  May we then give ourselves away as broken and beautiful vessels. Happy Thanks-LIVING, leader friend.

Reflect:

  • How will you transform Thanksgiving into Thanks-Living?
  • For what, for whom are you thankful?

Renew:

  • “Let the sea resound, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy; let them sing before the Lord, for He comes to judge the earth.” –Psalm 98:7-9.
  • “Enter his gates with Thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.” –Psalm 100:4.

Recharge:  

  • Please start a Gratitude Journal this week and  list at least three blessings daily. It could be a warm house, your health, laughter, cozy coats and boots. Keep going. You can do it.
  • Please let me know of some of your many blessings.

Resources:

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