RICHES OF GOD’S GRACE
Observance of days is not my thing. I put no premium on any particular day. One day is no more special than the other, as far as I’m concerned. The days are all the same for all I care. What’s more important to me is how I spend each and every single day that I get to live, move, and have my being.
Nonetheless, I recognize that societies like to observe certain days as being special compared to other days. While I totally don’t give a hoot about it, I kind of understand why we want to celebrate certain days. And to be honest, I don’t mind the temporary time off from the daily grind, I most certainly welcome the days off for the holidays, and you can count me in for the special food and delicacies that often come with many of these special days.
Today is one of those special days. It is Thanksgiving Day in the United States. For reasons unknown to me, Thanksgiving happens to be the most popular holiday among the many holidays celebrated in the USA; it’s even more popular than Christmas Day. According to a survey conducted by Statista Research Department in the third quarter of 2021, Thanksgiving had a popularity rating of 81 percent, while Christmas had a popularity rating of 77 percent.
Modeled after the 1621 harvest feast shared by the English colonists, American Thanksgiving is rich in legend and bedecked with symbolism. As I punch away on the keyboard of my laptop writing this commentary, the kitchen is agog with activities as the food for the Thanksgiving meal is being prepared. The turkey is undergoing deep marination, while the bread stuffing, potatoes, cranberries, and pumpkin pie are all at various stages of getting done.
With the aroma of the delicacies wafting through the air straight into my nostrils, it’s a huge struggle trying to concentrate on what I’m writing, and finding my thoughts is a battle. Now, don’t take that as a complaint; it isn’t one at all. Like I said, I’m all game for the turkey and can’t wait to lay my fingers on it.
Beyond the turkey and the stuffing, the football games, Macy’s parade in New York City, and the Black Friday shopping spree, it’s on Thanksgiving that many Americans tend to harken back to the Christian roots of the nation’s founders.
As part of the Thanksgiving rituals, family members sitting around the dining table perfunctorily recount what it is they are thankful for. That this is nothing more than pure symbolism devoid of true spirituality is the fact that people say what they are thankful for but never to whom they are thankful.
While for a vast majority of Americans, symbols, myths, and legends, have replaced many of the Christian traditions of Thanksgiving, which, originally, were deeply spiritual and authentically devotional, that’s not the case for me. Since I have decided to join in the Thanksgiving charade, I might as well make the most use of it.
So, if I’m asked what I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving, I’ll say, I’m thankful to God for the riches of His grace.
Saved by grace.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8).
Elected by grace.
“Before the foundation of the world, and long before I was born, God chose me that I should be holy and without blame before him in love.” (Ephesians 1:4-6).
Justified by grace.
“Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:24).
Sanctified by grace.
“For the grace of God has appeared…training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age.” (Titus 2:11-12).
Glorified by grace.
“Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:13).
Elected by Grace, justified by grace, sanctified by grace, and glorified by grace. Grace upon grace upon grace upon grace. It’s not by works. It’s all a gift from God. I’m a beneficiary and inheritor of God’s grace.
So, this Thanksgiving Day, I’m profoundly thankful to God for the surpassing riches of His grace.