This Just In: Turkey, Stuffing, and a Great Big "Amen, Gift Received!"

By Mark Buetow

What shall I render to the Lord For all His benefits toward me? I will take up the cup of salvation, And call upon the name of the Lord. (Psalm 116:12-13)

What do you get for the guy who has everything? How do you thank the God who made everything that exists? The God who made you? How do thank the Lord who can call all things into existence out of nothing with just a Word? How do you show gratitude to the God who becomes man to be nailed to a cross and die and then rise again so that you will rise from the dead and live forever? No matter how good your manners are, tossing out a “Thank you very much, Lord!” doesn’t really seem to cover all that Jesus has done for us. Besides, is the Lord really so vain that He needs to be told how awesome He is? How grateful we are? There are people like that--people who think that if you don’t fawn over them for what they’ve done then you aren’t grateful. We do that ourselves. “I don’t do it to be recognized but a little thanks would be nice.” You’ve just proven the point!

So what is true thankfulness to God? How do we express our gratitude? How do you say “Thank You” to Jesus? Psalm 116 helps us out here. We sing it in the first and second settings of the Divine Service: “What shall I render to The Lord?” How can we thank Him? How do we repay Him? We don’t. Rather, we receive more from Him! When Jesus gives you the forgiveness of sins, the only way to truly thank Him for such a gift is to receive more forgiveness! Live more in your Baptism! Receive again and again His Body and Blood, the cup of salvation. Hear again that He was crucified for you, died for you, rose for you, and forgives you. To put it another way: We don’t thank Jesus by returning something to Him, be it our “thankful hearts” or something else, but rather by receiving more of what Jesus has to give. To live in and enjoy the gifts of Jesus is the only way to thank Him. To live as a sinner who can’t get too much forgiveness but knows He has always more, is to render true thankfulness to God.

Now we certainly do say “Thank you, Lord,” in our hymns and prayers. Such words are a confession that everything we have is a gift from our Heavenly Father given to us through His Son. It is because of Jesus that the Father lovingly bestows on us “food, drink, clothing, shoes, house, home, land, animals, money, goods, a devout husband or wife, devout children, devout workers, devout and faithful rules, good government, good weather, peace, health, self-control, good reputation, good friends, faithful neighbors, and the like.” We ought not forget that even what we earn in this life or receive as a gift is ultimately from the gracious hand of our heavenly Father.

Some people will try to guilt you into being thankful. Prepare for the barrage of Facebook photos of people waiting in line for iPhones while folks in Africa wear soda bottles as shoes; or reminders that on Thanksgiving we are thankful for all we have and then spend the next day waiting in line to get more; or reminders that if you’re enjoying yourself, there’s always someone who is miserable during the holidays. Or maybe we’re the miserable ones who so easily forget all of God’s gifts to us in Christ. It’s the sort of thing that drops a guilt-bomb that makes us feel bad for enjoying what we have. Then we feel bad we feel guilty when we know we should know better. How’s THAT for thankfulness? The world goes crazy trying to manipulate our emotions from happiness to sadness to guilt to excitement to apathy.

Away with all that! Christ has died for you! Washed you. Feeds you. The Father cares for you. No matter what things you have received, good or bad, nothing can take away your being a child of God. And that means Jesus has died to take away even our sins of gluttony, greed, and false guilt. Therefore there’s just no sense in getting worked up over how much gratitude you should have or how you should show your gratitude to God. Instead, live by receiving more Jesus. More forgiveness. More life in the freedom to enjoy all that God has given to you, sharing with your neighbor as you are able, and above all, taking that cup of salvation, the cup of Christ, and calling upon the Name of the Lord, the Name into which you’re baptized. It’s nice to say “Thank you” to Jesus but an even better word that confesses His goodness is the “Amen!” The “gift received, for me, yes, yes, it is so” word that receives what the Lord has for you.

On Thanksgiving Day, enjoy your turkey and dressing or whatever food you celebrate with, watch some football if that’s your thing, go get some bargains for your Christmas shopping, help serve dinner to the poor, invite someone over who has nowhere else to go. Do any of those things but do them all in the glad confidence that what most puts a smile on your Lord’s face is that He can give to you unending blessings of forgiveness, life and salvation. Happy Thanksgiving!

Rev. Mark Buetow is the pastor of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church and School in McHenry, Illinois. 
This article was originally published on the Higher Things website in November 2012.
Tagged with , ,

Recent

Archive

 2021
 January
Reflections: January 1, 2021This Just In: The Ultimate ResolutionReflections: January 2, 2021Reflections: January 3, 2021Reflections: January 4, 2021Video Short: January 5, 2021Video Short: January 4, 2021Reflections: January 5, 2021Reflections: January 6, 2021Video Short: January 6, 2021Under the Cross: Don't Look at the ListReflections: January 7, 2021Video Short: January 7, 2021Video Short: January 8, 2021Reflections: January 8, 2021Dean's List: The Catechism Really Is for YouReflections: January 9, 2021Reflections: January 10, 2021Reflections: January 11, 2021Video Short: January 11, 2021Helpful Things: Fundraising Essentials FOR YOUReflections: January 13, 2021Video Short: January 12, 2021Reflections: January 12, 2021Video Short: January 13, 2021Reflections: January 14, 2021Video Short: January 14, 2021Under the Cross: You Don't Belong to This WorldReflections: January 15, 2021Video Short: January 15, 2021Reflections: January 16, 2021Reflections: January 17, 2021Reflections: January 18, 2021Video Short: January 18, 2021This Just In: Martin Luther King, Jr.--The Man Who Had a DreamReflections: January 19, 2021Video Short: January 19, 2021Dead Christians You Should Know About: Saint SebastianReflections: January 20, 2021Video Short: January 20, 2021Video Short: January 21, 2021Reflections: January 21, 2021Reflections: January 22, 2021Reflections: January 23, 2021Video Short: January 22, 2021Dean's List: Jesus Hits the Spot!Reflections: January 24, 2021Reflections: January 25, 2021Reflections: January 26, 2021Video Short: The Conversion of St. PaulHelpful Things: Effective Fundraising Through Midweek MealsVideo Short: Suffering Doesn't Mean God Doesn't Love YouReflections: January 27, 2021Video Short: Woke Wednesday: Karma, Karma, KarmaVideo Short: Abortion and the Church's WorkReflections: January 28, 2021Reflections: January 29, 2021Video Short: What Goes On In Your Pastor's Mind About Closed CommunionFoundations: You Need Your Pastor More Than EverReflections: January 30, 2021Reflections: January 31, 2021

Categories

Tags

1 Cor 11 1 John 10 Commandments 10th Commandment 1525 1Tim 2 1st Commandment 2 Tables of the Law 2000 2002 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021AD 20th birthday 2nd Adam Jesus 2nd Commandment 3rd Article 3rd commandment 3rd day of wedding 40 days 4th commandment 5th Commandment 8th Commandment 9/11 95 Thesis 9th commandment Aaronic Blessing Abraham Absolution Acts 1 Acts 9 Acts Adam Adiaphora Advent Age of Accountability Albrecht Peters All Hallows Eve Alpha and Omega Ambrose Amen-I beleve Amen American Andrew Anointed One Apocrypha Apology Apostles Creed Apostles' Creed Apostles\' Creed Apostles\\\' Creed Areopagus Armor Ascension Day Athens Augsburg Augustian monk Augustine Babylonians Bach Baker Bamsch Barabbas Beatitudes Beginning and End Benediction Benedictus Best Friend Jesus Bethany Bethel Bethesda Bethlehem Bible study Boaz Bondage of the Will Book of Life Book of Mormon Book of Prayer Bread of Life Buddha C.S. Lewis CDC COVID-19 COVID Caesar Calling Calvary Canaanite woman Canaan Capernaum Castillero Catholic Cath Changed form Chestfeeding Chief Sheperd Chief Shepherd Christ Jesus Christ crucified Christ death Christ fills repentance Christ fulfilled Christ raised Christ righteousness Christ the King Christ's precious blood Christ's works Christ\'s precious blood Christ\'s works Christ\\\'s precious blood Christ\\\'s works Christ\\\\\\\'s precious blood Christian Baptism Christian Church Christian Science Christological Christology Church Communion Compline Concordia Constantine Coram Deo Corinthians Corinth Corrow Creator God Creator Creeds Cross of Christ Cross of Jesus Cyrus DCYSKNA DNA Daniel Dan Dare to be Lutheran Date to Be Lutheran David's decendant David\'s decendant David\\\'s decendant David Dawkins Deborah Deliverer Deuteronomy Diet of Worms Divergent Divine Service Dorothy Sayers Dr Seuss Drosendahl Dying to Live Earth Day Eastern Sages/Gentiles Ecclesiastes Eden Ehrhard Eighth Commandment Elijah Elisha Elvis Emmanuel Enlightenment Ephesians 2 Ephesians 3 Ephesians 4 Ephesians Ephrath Epiphany=Gentile Christmas Esau Espinosa Eternal Son Eucharist Evening Prayer Eve Eyes on Jesus Ezekiel Ezkiel Father Fenker Fibbing Fifth Commandment First Article First Commandment Fisk Flood Following the Star Formula of Concord Fourth Commandment Fourth Petition France Frederick Friedich Wyneken Friend of Sinners From Above Ft Wayne seminary Gabriel Garden Gen Z Genesis 22 Genesis Georgia Germany German Gideon Gifts of God Given God Helps God above all God forgives sin God hears/answers God hides himself God of Order God of grace God of mercy God on the cross God saves losers God saves God the Father God who saves God works good from evil God-man God's Church God's I will God's Law God's Word God's authority God's faithful God's greatness God's justice God's kingdon God's love God's name God's nos create trust God's plan God's sight God's will God's wisdom God's work God\'s Church God\'s I will God\'s Law God\'s Word God\'s authority God\'s faithful God\'s greatness God\'s justice God\'s kingdon God\'s name God\'s plan God\'s sight God\'s will God\'s wisdom God\'s work God\\\'s I will God\\\'s Law God\\\'s Word God\\\'s justice God\\\'s kingdon God\\\'s name God\\\'s plan God\\\'s sight God\\\'s wisdom God\\\'s work God\\\\\\\'s Law God\\\\\\\'s Word God\\\\\\\'s kingdon God\\\\\\\'s name God\\\\\\\'s wisdom God\\\\\\\'s work God\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s Word God\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s wisdom God\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s work God\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s work Gods grace God Gof's glory Gof\'s glory Gof\\\'s glory Gof\\\\\\\'s glory Golgotha Goliath Good Friday Good Newa Good News Good Sheperd Good vs evil Goodman Goodness of the Lord Gospel = forgiveness Gospel requires hearing Grace Great Reversal Greeks Greek Hagar Halloween Han Solo Happy Lent Haughty Heavenly Father Hebrews Hebrew Here I Stand Hiding Place Hill His Name Hogwarts Hokana Holly Innocents Holocaust Holy Baptism Holy Communion Holy Land Holy Sacrement Holy Saturday Holy Week Holy name Hosanna Hull I am Immanuel Independence Indulgences Invocation Isaac Isaiah 55 Isaiah 66 Isaiah Islam Jacoby Jacob Jeremiah Jesus juatifies the ungodly Jesus Christ Jesus body Jesus calls Jesus died Jesus fixed sin Jesus forgives Jesus is Lord Jesus is Truth Jesus is Yaweh Jesus is future Jesus is present Jesus is the suwwer Jesus is true God Jesus is true man Jesus is with us Jesus lived Jesus ministry Jesus on the Cross Jesus os past Jesus pays debt Jesus peace Jesus reveals God Jesus rose Jesus saves Jesus shines like the sun Jesus suffering Jesus the Crucified Jesus the Sent One Jesus took God's anger Jesus took God\'s anger Jesus took God\\\'s anger Jesus took all sins Jesus travels to sinners Jesus washing feet Jesus-access tot he Father Jesus" compassion Jesus" peace Jesus" salvation Jesus' baptism Jesus' love Jesus' will Jesus\" compassion Jesus\" peace Jesus\" salvation Jesus\' baptism Jesus\\\" peace Jesus\\\\\\\" peace Jews and gentiles Joanna John 12 John 6 John the Baptist Johnson John Jonah Joseph Smith Josephus Joseph Joshua Joy/suffering Jubilate Judah Judgment Day Judica Sunday Karma=get what you give Keith Kenobi Kieselowsky King Josiah King Solomon King of Kings Kingdom of God Klages Kosche LGBTQ Laban Lamb of God Lamb Lamentations Lamg of God Last Day Law requires doing Law shows sin Lazarus Leah Lent Levi Life or death Lincoln Lor'd's Day Lor\'d\'s Day Lor\\\'d\\\'s Day Lor\\\\\\\'d\\\\\\\'s Day Lor\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'d\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s Day Lord's Prayer Lord's Supper Lord's Word Lord\'s Prayer Lord\'s Supper Lord\'s Word Lord\\\'s Prayer Lord\\\'s Supper Lords's Prayer Lords\'s Prayer Lords\\\'s Prayer Lord Loss Luke 11 Luke 17 Luke 18 Luke 1 Luther Lydia Maggie Karner Magnificat Maiwald Making Waves Margery Kempe Mark 7 Mark 8 Marr 3 Martha Martin Luther Mary Mass Master Matt 13 Matt 20 Matt 3 Matt 6 Matthew 2 Matthew 8 Matthew 9 Matthew Matthias replaces Judas Matthias Maundy Thursday McCrorey McKenna Melanchthon Memorial Day Messiah Micah 7 Micah Middle East Monica Mormonism Mormon Mother of God Mt Zion Muhammad Muhlenberg Muslims Myers Nagel Name of the Lord Narnia Nazareth Nehemiah New Man New Testament New Year Nicene Nicodemus Nunes Oded Office of Ministry Old Man Old Testament One Baptism One Faith One Lord One tru God Ostapowich Palmarum Paradise Passion time Passover Paul/greatest apostle Pauls Peperkorn Person of Jesus Peter's confession Peter\'s confession Pharaoh Pharisees Pharoah Philip Philistines Phillip and James Phillip Phoebe Pierson Pilate Polycarp Pontius Pilate Populus Zion Potiphar Pray ye Preus Proverbs 31 Proverbs Psalm 13 Psalm 25 Psalm 43 Psalm 51 Psalm 70 Psalm 86 Rachel Rahab Rebekah Redeemer Reuben Revelation Riley Risen Lord Rogate Roman persecution Romans 1 Romans 3 Romans 4 Romans 5 Romans Rosebrough Ruth Sabbath Sacrement of the Altar Salome Sanchez Sanctus Sarah Saul/greatest preseutor Savior of all Savior Schools shouln't lead prayer Schuldheisz Scriptures Sebastian Second Article Seed Septuagesima Sermon on the Mount Shakespeare Simeon Simon Sin-Bearer Singing Sinner team becomes Jesus' team Sinner team becomes Jesus\' team Sixth Commandment Sletten Smalcald Sodom Son of David Son of God Son of Josiah Son of Mam Son of Man Son of the Living God Sons of God Son Sower Spirit of God Spoken Gospel St Patrick St. Joseph St. Matthias St. Paul St.Bartholomew Stand firm Staupitz Supper Table of Duties Te Deum Ten Commandments Thanks The Feast The Son of God Theology of the Cross Theotokos Third Article Timothy Titus Tolkien Transfiguation Transfiquration Tree of Cross Tree of Knowledge Tree of Life Twelve UFO Valentine Vieker Visitation Weedon Winter Wittenberg Woelmer Word and Sacraments Word and Sacrement Word of Christ Word of God Word of the Lord Words of blessing Word Yaweh Zachariah Zacharias Zwingli "Not" "you are god" \"you are god\" \\\"you are god\\\" abortion is evil abortion abram absolute absolve abuse academic acceptable sacrifice active ad te levavi addiction adultery adults advice affirmation agape agnostic alcoholic aliens all have sinned all powerful almighty altar guild altar always anabaptists anarchy angel anger animal anna anouthen answering prayers answer anti-christian antinomian antioch antiphonal antithetical to Christianity anxiety apocalypse apologetic apostle appearances appearance archaeology archangels ark armed forces artist ascension assembly of believers assurance in His Word athanasian atheism atheist atonement augustana authority awake babylon baby backsliding baggage banquet baptismal grace baptism baptized baptizing barnabas barren bartholomew beginning being made holy belief believes believing is recieving benjamin best construction betray between you bible bigot birth of Jesus birthright blessings blessing blind blood boast body and blood body bonhoeffer borghardt born again bound will brandt bread breakup bride of Christ bridegroom bride brother buetow burial cain calendar campus life cancel culture cancelling the past cancer candle casket catechesis catechism catechize celebration centurion ceremonial washing chant character of God chastity chatity child abuse children of promise children choir chosen christianity christmas christ church attendance church planting circumcision clean clergy clerical cling coin college colossians combat comfort commandment command community compassion concupiscence condemn conferences confession of Trinity confession of fITH confessions confession confess confirmation connection conscience conspiracy theory context contrition conversion cookie cornerstone corrupting sin council counselor covenant coveting covet created for man creates faith creation creative love creed critical theory cross crown crucifiction crucified crucifix cry culture shock culture cupid curb/guide/rule curb/mirror/guide curb current events curse cwirla daily bread danger darkness dating de-platform deadly sin dead deaf dean death debt cancelled debt decrease defeat deliverance delivered demon depression descriptive vs prescriptive destroy devil disappointment disaster disciples discipline dishonesty dispair disposition of delight disruption diversity divorce doctrine dogma domestic violence donations donkey door doubts doubt doxology dream drew driven by the Spirit drugs earthquake easter ecclesiastical egypt election elizabeth embarrassment emotions empty tomb encourager encourgement endure enemy engineering enlightened enlivening entertainment envy epiphany epistle equality equal equity escped forced idolitry estates eternal life for us eternal life evangelism evangelist evil evolution exalted examine example excuses exercise love exhalted exhortation exiles exile extra nos extra-biblical eyewitness failure faith alone faith in Jesus faithful faith fall false gods false preachers false teachers false worship family famine fasting fate father sacrifices son father's house father\'s house father\\\'s house father\\\\\\\'s house fear feast feelings fellowship of believers female feminism fiery serpent filial fear fire firstfruits flesh flowers follow Christ follow font foolish for you forerunner foretaste forgiven in Christ forgiveness forgiven forgive fornication forsaken fortress fraud free gift free will freedom frees us freshman friendship from scripture fruits of faith fruit fulfilles fulfillment in Christ fulfillment full pardon funeral fun future games gaudete gay gender inclusive gender geneology generations generosity genetics genetic genocide gentiles gerhardt gift of community gift of justification gift of the Spiirit gifts of salvation gifts gift girlfriend give thanks given not earned glory of God glory gnosticism goats godliness godly families godly husband golden rule golf good gifts good samaritan good works good work good gospel gossiping government grace repents us gracious gratitude great commission grief groom guarded tomb guardian guard guest guide guilt by association guilt habitual sins hannah happiness harm to win hatred have mercy healing hearing/listening heart hear heaven heinz heirs hell heresy herod high priest high school history holiday holiness holy spirit holy trinity holy homosexuality honor parents honor hope against hope hopelessness hope hostility house of israel humbled humble humblw glory humility hurt husband hymnal hymn hypocrisy hypocrites iPad identity idol worship idolatry idol image imitate impossible improved imputed in Christ in Jesus incarnation inconsistant standards increase inheritance instigating faith institution internet interpretation introit invitation isolation israel issues james jerome jerusalem jesus jewish job joyful joy judas jude judge Jesus judge me judgement judge justice justification justify justin martyr kantor karma keep keseman keys kill kind kingdom king knowledge kohlmeier kuhlman lange language large catechism latin laugh law leaven lectionary legacy lemon lepers lept lex credendi lex orendi life vs death life-changing life lightning light lion listen liturgical liturgy live doubt live living bread living water lonely lords prayer lords supper lost sheep lost love your neighbor love-Christ on cross love lowly lust lutheran madden magicians magic magisterial magnify magruder manger manifestation manipulative manna marked as redeemed marriage martyrs martyr mary magdalene mary/faith masks meals means of grace means measures measure mediator mental health merciful mercy and grace mercy message of peace metanoia metaphor microagression mietzner millennium miracles miracle missionary misuse modernism money moses mountains movement murder musician mutual consolation my Savior myth name narrow door nation nature nebuchadnezzar need Jesus negative neighbor net of sin new command new creation new in Christ new life newborns news noah not a spell not blesses not condemned obedience obey offering old Adam on our knees on the knees onesimus orders ordinary ordination organ orgiven original sin orthodox our neighbors body overseer pagan pandemic papacy parable of sower parable paraments pardoned saint parents represent God parents teach religion parents party passive pastoral care pastors pastor patience patriarch paul payed the debt payment peace peers pentecost people perfume perpetual forgiveness persecution person peter pharasies' bribes pharisee philemon philosophy physical touch place or vacation plagues plan plenary pope porn possible post-Christian postmodern poverty praise praising God pray for leaders prayers prayer praying pray pre-Lent=prepare pre-emptive restraint preaching preach prepare for Calvary pride priesthood proclaim prodigal promises promise prophecy prophet prostitution protection psalms psalm punish purchased and won purity quarantine quest for truth racism raised from death raised ram ransom rape rapture real presence reality reason rebel reconcile reconciliation redeemed sinners redemption reflection reformation refuge regenerated rejoice rejouce relationship with God relationship with others relationship relativism religion religious remember loving kindness renewal of faith repent now repentance repent resolutions rest in Jesus restoration rest resurrection rethink reverence with joy richard rich righteousness riots risen road to Damascus rock rorate coeli rules rule sacraments sacrament sacrement delivers Calvary sacrements sacrifice of presentation sacrifice safety saints saint salvation samaritan sanctification sanctified satan satis est saul saved by grace saved save scapegoat scholarship school science scripture seek God's salvation seek God\'s salvation seek God\\\'s salvation segregation self-centered self-esteem self-justify self-worth selfish human desire selfishness seraphim sermon servant serve ou neighbor served without fanfare service project servile fear serving others set apart sexual sex shabbat shaltanis shame shepherd shield showed glory sick signs silas simul sinners sinner sins sin skeptic slavery small catechism social media shunning sojouner sola fide sola gratia sola soldiers soloists sophia sorrow sorry enough soul soup supper speak of Christ speeding spiritual drink spiritual gifts spiritual spirit spring break star state steadfast love steal stephen stewardship steward stottlemyer strength stress strong students subjective subsitute lamb suffer for...my name suffer/die/rise again suffering suicide is forgiven suicide support single mothers sustains faith swear symbol symphony synagogue tabernacle tax collectors tax collector teaching teach technology teenager temple temptation tempted tenderness tertullian tetelestai the 72 the Christ the Church the Cross the Lamb the Word theology things of God thomas throne through faith tomb tongues trinity triune God triune trust in God trust truth turrn away unbelief unbelieving loved ones undeserved favor unforgiveable unity universal changing event universalism universe university unrighteousness unwoke use rightly veil vestments victim victoory victory video virgin virtue vocation voice war washed watermarked water weakness weak wealth wedding feast wedding garment wedding weeping wept widow will of God wine for wedding wisdom wise witness woke=aware of social justice wokeism=American civil religion woke works of Law works world's religion is transactional world worship of money worship wrath yahweh youth ministry youth zechariah zion zombie