“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).
These words from Hebrews should bring us great comfort. Often we forget this and begin asking, “how will God respond to me, how will God respond to my sin, how will God respond to my turning away?” This short verse is a direct reminder of how God responds to us. When we read the stories of Jesus in the Gospels, we know how God responds to humanity—with love and forgiveness. The way God responds to people, you and me, today is the same way that Jesus responded to the Disciples. It is the same way he responded to the woman at the well, to the blind, lame, and even the sinful. Jesus loves us just as we are. His personality has not changed from 2 millennia ago. The same Jesus, who walked long ago, walks with us today and loves us the same. It is important for us to remember who Jesus is and how he lived, because in doing so we can grow in faith and confidence in our faith journey. It is important that we read His stories because they show us how God works among people today. Jesus, God in flesh, is the same today as he was in the stories of Old.
As God responds to us with love, we are right to respond to Jesus first and foremost with thanksgiving. We acknowledge that Jesus is the one able to save us and we thank him for his self-sacrifice. Thanksgiving, the holiday, is a time to remember all the blessings that have been lavished on us by God; everyone has blessings. They may be different than those around us. When we celebrate the national holiday of Thanksgiving we as Christians make it our own and proclaim that it is God to whom we are thankful because God is the one who provides.
If you don’t have a tradition in your family of proclaiming what you are thankful for let me suggest one. First, gather your family in a circle. Begin this time with a prayer asking to be open to God’s presence. Go around the circle and each person tells the group one thing they are thankful for from this last year. Lastly, end your time with a prayer of thanksgiving to God. We do this in my family and it is a holy time for us to recognize the day in its rightful place—in God’s hands.