November 21, 2018
Thanksgiving Means Asking for More Jesus
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
There is an old prayer for someone about to receive the Lord's living body and blood in the Lord's holy supper. The communicant prays a small part of Psalm 116: How can I repay the Lord for all His benefits to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation, and I will call on the name of the Lord. (Psalm 116:12–13 EHV)
The healed leper may have wondered the same thing—how can I repay Jesus for my life given back to me? His response was to call on the name of the Lord.
This leper knew that thanking Jesus meant going back to Him and asking Him for more of Him. And Christ answered his prayer. He forgives his sin and invites him to follow Him on His way to the cross. The Greek word translated “Go your way” can also mean “Come”. The thing for this man to do who had come back to Jesus was to keep on coming back to Him.
On the eve of this holiday we have much to be thankful for: we drive on peaceful streets, our houses are still standing and are warm, some—if not many—in our families trust in Christ who died for them, we have plenty of food, our pastors can speak the truth in love without fear of legal attack, we can receive Jesus into our ears and mouths frequently and faithfully.
We may not always have these blessings or have them as reliably as we do now. If our blessings change, we will still have Jesus. So right now let us give thanks by asking Jesus for more of Him and then answering this prayer with our God-given hands and voices.
We need more Jesus and as we ponder His coming in Bethlehem and prepare for His return, we will invite Him into our homes. Special devotions for Advent are being distributed for our household devotions. I'll will use them on the coming Wednesdays and pray this will encourage others to do likewise the next day and the next.
This is how we give thanks. Not once a year, but every day. Jesus took a man who was as good as dead, and gave him his life back.
That's what He did for you. You were as good as dead. It wasn't as obvious as leperosy, but your sin was far more deadly. And Jesus died to give you your life back. Repay Him receiving more of Him. Come to His table and lift up your hearts and then His cup of salvation. Call on His name in the midst of your family. It's old advice, but it will do us a world of good.
In Jesus' Name. Amen.
God demonstrates His own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Thanks be to God!
Pastor Boehringer has been preaching Christ and Him crucified to himself and to his congregation at Gethsemane since 2009.