In a profoundly insightful post, Matt Dabbs wrote,
If I am honest with myself 99.9% of the things I am thankful for make me happy. But when you read Jesus’ thankfulness over his broken body and his poured out blood I cannot help but ask myself if there were more sacrificial things I could be a part of that might make me more thankful. Our world avoids pain. Jesus embraced it because he knew that what had to take place could only happen through pain and suffering. How much richer would our lives be if we understood that and lived that on a regular basis?
As we take this bread, let’s remember that Jesus gave thanks for his own death, his own crucifixion, his own sacrifice. What are we to give thanks for?
I think we are to give thanks that God has saved us from a purposeless, pointless life that would end in our destruction — and given us a mission that’s larger than ourselves and a purpose that extends into eternity. God has given us a place in Christ’s body so we can continue his work on earth, as well as a chance to participate in God’s cosmic plan to redeem the world. And that role requires personal sacrifice, submission, and even carrying a cross.
Rather than thanking God for the good life, the American Dream, let’s thank God for the abundant life, the life that matters, the life that costs everything. Let’s celebrate what we must give up to be a part of God’s Kingdom.