The Lord has been good to us. We enjoy many beautiful and comforting benefits of the physical world, and we take an opportunity at Thanksgiving to show our gratitude for our food, and for such peace and health and wealth as we might enjoy, always remembering the terrible suffering that those with less might endure. Why, we must ask ourselves, does God allow us so much? For the Bible tells us that to find God, we must “hate” the world.
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” (1 John 2:15-17).
But we must remember, all the way back to Genesis 1, that God did not create the world to be hostile to mankind, or hated, but to nurture and please us. We are thus grateful for His creation, and He allows us to take pleasure in life that we might understand His love for us more fully. Enjoying what the world might give us, when we do so as God intended, brings us closer to Him. It gives us a taste of what God intends for us and has always intended for us.
O Lord God, from whom comes every good and perfect gift, we give You hearty thanks for Your love, Your grace, and the tender mercies you have showered upon us. We praise you for everything, whether joyful or sorrow, that brings us closer to You and to our brothers and sisters here on Earth.
You created us to give glory to You. Help us to manifest our love and thanksgiving in treating one another with respect and kindness, loving one another as you have taught us to do; and give us the passion to help those who struggle to get the necessities of life. We pray that as we celebrate this season, we never forget that all that we have comes from You.
We give special thanks for the fruit of Your earth, the delicious food we are about to eat, and especially for all the family and friends gathered here to share it with. Oh Lord, bless us and keep us; make your face to shine upon us and give us grace, this day and forever more.
~ Mason Barge
Editor, Daily Prayer