As Thanksgiving approaches, we want to take the time to acknowledge that this has been a difficult year for many. A global pandemic, economic instability and uncertainty about the future has left many of us feeling shaky and disoriented.
Thanksgiving is typically a time of abundant celebration with family, friends and loved ones. How do we thank God during a pandemic?
COVID-19 reminds us of the paradox of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. On the cross, Jesus died so we may be set free from the bondage of sin and be given hope everlasting. Yet suffering continues. This is the tension of the ‘already’ and the ‘not yet’ of the Kingdom of God. Jesus reminds us that “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 ESV). We look forward with hope to the return of Christ when all things will be made new. But right now, God invites us to step into the continual work of building his kingdom on earth. So, we preach the gospel: the good news that sets captives free (Luke 4:18) and makes the darkness flee. And when darkness comes knocking at our doors, we are reminded of where our house is built.
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” (Matt 7:24-27 ESV)
If our house is built on God’s foundation, with Christ as the cornerstone, we can withstand any storm that comes our way.
While the days and months ahead remain uncertain, we can thank God for being our firm foundation. We can thank him for coming to earth as a man, experiencing what it means to be human and enduring the punishment for our sin. Jesus knows our suffering in this life, and he cares.
While you observe Thanksgiving this year, take heart in the truth of the gospel, give thanks for the gift of salvation you have received and remember those who do not yet know the Giver of all things. Pray they may hear that same truth and be saved.
From all of us at TWR Canada, we wish you and yours a happy thanksgiving.