Today's Reading: Luke 12:13-21
And He said to them, "Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses." (Luke 12:15)
In the Name + of Jesus. Turkey! Stuffing! Football! 4:00 a.m. sales! It seems Thanksgiving has become the holiday celebrating overindulgence. But what are we indulging in? Gifts from our heavenly Father. All that food and fun are from your heavenly Father. Those things are a gift.
Idolatry happens when we turn the gift into the most important thing — more important than the Giver. Who hasn't been so into something that they've forgotten about God and thought whatever they like is way more interesting than the Lord's Word. There's some Thanksgiving Day repentance for all of us! While the Lord is generous in giving us “stuff,” that stuff isn't the center of our life. After all, that stuff is passing away.
Our life doesn't consist in the abundance of our possessions. It consists in Jesus. In Him we have everything we need and way more than just material possessions and daily bread. In Him we have the sacrifice that has taken away our sins, the resurrection that has conquered death for us and the water, Word, Body and Blood by which we live and have forgiveness.
Jesus being our Savior means that every sin which has made the creation into our god is forgiven. It means every gift that is from our Father can be recognized as such. It means we have far more than we could ever ask for or dream from our Lord. We have life beyond this life. Bread beyond our daily bread and turkey sandwiches. Joy and gladness beyond even the Detroit Lions winning or losing!
Some folks have traditions of helping others on Thanksgiving. Many have traditions of helping themselves to seconds and thirds. But as Christians, we recognize all these things as gifts from our heavenly Father through Jesus Christ. But above all, in Jesus, we have an abundance which is beyond anything in this world. For in Him we have life to come. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
With voices united our praises we offer And gladly our songs of thanksgiving we raise. With You, Lord, beside us, Your strong arm will guide us. To You, our great Redeemer, forever be praise! (LSB 785:3)
Questions or comments regarding the Reflections may be sent to the Rev. Mark Buetow, Reflections Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org.