The true meaning of Thanksgiving

 

I believe that God has made me and all creatures; that He has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my limbs, my reason, and all my senses, and still preserves them; in addition thereto, clothing and shoes, meat and drink, house and homestead, wife and children, fields, cattle, and all my goods; that He provides me richly and daily with all that I need to support this body and life, protects me from all danger, and guards me and preserves me from all evil; and all this out of pure, fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me; for all which I owe it to Him to thank, praise, serve, and obey Him. This is most certainly true.

via First Article of the Creed. The Small Catechism – Book of Concord

God “has given me. . .meat and drink. . .and all my goods,” as well as family, protection, and “all that I need.”  And He “has given me. . .all my senses,” so that it is fitting that we savor, enjoy, and take delight in our Thanksgiving Feast.  “For all which I owe it to Him to thank, praise, serve, and obey Him.”

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://theoldadam.com/ Steve Martin

    Amen.

    We certainly ought.

  • http://theoldadam.com/ Steve Martin

    Amen.

    We certainly ought.

  • Larry

    Amen, I second Steve!

    We’ve been memorizing the sm. cat. with the kids lately and this one was first on the list. It really reminded me and convicted me of just how unthankful I am. It’s amazing, I’ve found, how the catechism so connects things. E.g. how this so connects with the fourth petition of the Lord’s prayer.

    It hit me one day driving to work going through it in my head. The conviction hit me pretty hard. But then there’s that little bit of Gospel in it in the Lord’s Prayer, at the beginning of the 4th petition, “God gives daily bread indeed without our prayer, to all evil people, BUT we pray in this petition that He would lead us to understand this and receive our daily bread with thanks giving.” Then it spells out what daily bread is, basically the same list as in the 1 part of the Apostle’s Creed (above).

    Our day and age tends to like impromptu prayer, nothing wrong with that at all. So I find it amazing how many prayers can be thought and spoke out of just knowing the small catechism.

    Very Good indeed.

  • Larry

    Amen, I second Steve!

    We’ve been memorizing the sm. cat. with the kids lately and this one was first on the list. It really reminded me and convicted me of just how unthankful I am. It’s amazing, I’ve found, how the catechism so connects things. E.g. how this so connects with the fourth petition of the Lord’s prayer.

    It hit me one day driving to work going through it in my head. The conviction hit me pretty hard. But then there’s that little bit of Gospel in it in the Lord’s Prayer, at the beginning of the 4th petition, “God gives daily bread indeed without our prayer, to all evil people, BUT we pray in this petition that He would lead us to understand this and receive our daily bread with thanks giving.” Then it spells out what daily bread is, basically the same list as in the 1 part of the Apostle’s Creed (above).

    Our day and age tends to like impromptu prayer, nothing wrong with that at all. So I find it amazing how many prayers can be thought and spoke out of just knowing the small catechism.

    Very Good indeed.

  • LAJ

    Isn’t that explanation of the 1st article just beautiful!

  • LAJ

    Isn’t that explanation of the 1st article just beautiful!

  • Michael B.

    Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

  • Michael B.

    Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

  • Larry

    My favorite part of that first article explanation is the simple one part of the line, “…made me and all creatures, gives me my body and soul, eyes, ears and all my member, my reason and my sense and still takes care of them…”

    I love that “…and still takes care of them…”.

  • Larry

    My favorite part of that first article explanation is the simple one part of the line, “…made me and all creatures, gives me my body and soul, eyes, ears and all my member, my reason and my sense and still takes care of them…”

    I love that “…and still takes care of them…”.


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