To Whom is Thanks Due?
In the Old Testament, the phrase “give thanks” is translated from the Hebrew into the one word “yadah” meaning “to lift up, confess or praise.” Thus, the phrase uttered by our ancient Hebrew brothers and sisters would often be in the form “yadah L’Adoni” translated into “Give Thanks to the LORD.” In the New Testament, “give thanks” is almost always from the Greek word “eucharisto” so that the phrase is “Eucharisto to Theo” is “Give thanks to God.”
When we take the Lord’s Supper at church, the event is most correctly identified as “The Eucharist” because Paul describes the event in 1 Corinthians 11 as a time of giving thanks to God for the sacrificial and salvation-granting gift Christ provides for us.
Here we are in the Thanksgiving month. It always strikes me as odd to see on the TV or in the movies, or to hear in conversation by unbelievers, an expression of the idea of giving thanks, but without identifying that there is an object of our thanks. Many of you have heard me comment on this in the past and I will inevitably again this year post my obligatory annual Thanksgiving Tweet in which I note:
“You can’t be thankful “for” and not be thankful “to.”
Ultimately there is one to whom all thanks is due.”
Let’s examine that more closely. We have a culture that can identify the feeling of thankfulness, but can’t seem to reach the point of recognizing that in giving thanks you are giving it TO someone. People will say “I’m thankful for” this or that. To be “thankful” means to be “full of thanks.” So in their fullness, who do they thank? There must be an object of our giving of thanks.
Ultimately they ignore the author and progenitor of all good things.
I’m thankful for my boys TO Michelle and God. I’m thankful to be the Pastor of this church TO the church for calling me, TO Gary and Sherrill Hallquist for suggesting it to me, TO the man who asked me to serve on a mission team where I met Gary, and TO God for organizing it all. This Thanksgiving month think through all your blessing and then give the thanks TO the people who deserve it. Ultimately be thankful to God for his graciousness, providence, and love he has given you during your time on this earth.