Thursday, November 19, 2009

Reflections: The Sacrifice of Thanksgiving

But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanks-giving; I will pay that that I have vowed, salvation is of the Lord. Jonah 2:9 KJV

Spiritual sacrifices are noted in 1 Peter 2:5 and I have been noting the various forms of spiritual sacrifices as I read my Bible, taking notes and thinking often on them.

When I study a theme, I usually start with by looking at the definitions of the words, and my favorite definitions usually come from Noah Webster's 1828 Dictionary. Most definitions contain spiritual references, I believe, because faith was so intricately woven into our everyday lives at that time. A country built on faith, still relatively young, who had yet to stray so far away from the original principles upon which it was founded.

Although the 1828 definition of "sacrifice" is "the thing offered to God, or immolated by an act of religion", the more recent definition offered in The American Heritage Dictionary is "forfeiture of something highly valued for the sake of one considered to have a greater value or claim". This time I think the modern definition helped clarify the importance of our sacrifices.

Since "spiritual" means "of, concerned with, or affecting the soul" our spiritual sacrifices, and especially the sacrifice of thanksgiving, are an offering from our souls to God wherein we willfully choose to open our hearts to His blessings and thank Him, giving up as we do a sense of entitlement to hold on to a negative, grumbling attitude.

Although next Thursday is officially Thanksgiving day, our cups overflow year-round and so should our thankfulness. As Robert Caspar Lintner said, "Thanksgiving was never meant to be shut up in a single day."

Gray though the day may be
The Light of His love shines through to me
Blessings disguised as trials teach
That I'm never farther than His Hand can reach

Child of God, do not despair
His loving touch is everywhere
The smile of a child, the song of the birds
A hug from a friend speak volumes without words

But most precious of all, the greatest of these
Is the gift of His life sacrificed for me
The least I can do is offer while living
My Lord my spiritual sacrifice of thanksgiving


Donna said...

Thanks for this post. I've missed them. It has been a year of difficult challenges for a lot of people. Thanksfully I get to preach the good news and gives us hope for a brighter tomorrow. As the song says "when we all get to heaven what a day of rejoicing that will be...when we all see Jesus we will sing and Shout the Victory." AMEN

Vicki said...

A beautiful post, dear friend. Thank you!

Wishing you a blessed Thanksgiving of the heart, for whatever our trials, sacrifices, or laments (of which we all have some!), we rest in His goodness every day...He is our Life - and our reason for continual thanksgiving.

Love you!

Vicki said...

Stopping by with Christmas wishes and hugs for you! Love you & hope to hear from you soon.