Thanks Be To God

At my church after a scripture reading we say Thanks be to God. I have always found this short one sentence prayer to be meaningful.  I am not one for high church. I don’t particularly like all the standing and sitting, singing hymns, and most of what goes into the traditional church service. I only attend the traditional service when I say the Call to Worship. When I do I am usually touched by the service, but I opt for the contempary service when possible. So, most Sunday mornings you can find me at church at 9 am. I am not a morning person, but I wake early Sunday mornings of my own accord. Yet, I do like the Thanks be to God line at the end of the scripture reading.

Question: What are we saying when we say it?

This is a good question. I don’t how many of us have pondered such a question. Take a moment and think about what it means to thank God.

Have you given God thanks lately?

First, let me say a few words about saying thank you in a general.

Rarely does anyone say thank you. When was the last you said it or heard someone say thank you. It’s only two words. It doesn’t take much to say it. Yet, how often is it said?

We live in an instant, on demand world where if it’s not ready when we want it we throw a fit like a two-year old. We pout, stomp our feet, and shake our fists. We think we are entitled. Entitled not to pay taxes if we are in a higher bracket, work for the best of everyone, give up our seat to the elderly or handicap, and not to show fairness and kindness. Some think they are better than others and pick a few over most.

Saying thank you is not much yet it’s enough. It’s a simple word, not much to it, really. Thank you. I try to offer it to anyone who responds to one of my blog posts or Facebook postings. I have tried to cultivate in myself an attitude of gratitude. Saying thank you can mean a lot. I have had people comment how nice it is to hear those two words in our day. It’s such a rarity that when someone hears it is shocking. It would be good if we would resolve in the New Year to make 2013 the Year of Thank You. It could change the world.

Meister Eckhart: If the only prayer you ever say in your whole life is “thank you,” that would suffice.

So, what does it mean to say thanks be to God.

This prayer is simple and meaningful. These words imbue power, hope, love, and light. It’s a way of saying God is here, this place is holy and we are all children of God. It’s a way of saying God is among us, has called together, and will send us out to share Jesus with others. It’s a way of surrendering to both God and the moment, surrendering to the undeniable fact that God is in the moment. It’s a way of saying that God is in charge and we are not. We are thanking God for all God has done, for our blessing, saving, and gracing. We thank God for the gift of life, salvation, and all that goes into it. We thank God for our present condition and our future hope and joy. We thank God for keeping us in fellowship with God and one another, for our communion with God and one another, and the strength to keep keeping on.

“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted.” (Isaiah12:4)

Grace and Peace

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