A single thanks for a Single Life (in which I consider Thanksgiving and redemption)

I suspect that God’s view of such things as injustice, hatred, war, murder, dishonesty, lying, greed, pride, bitterness, anger, gossip, selfishness, abuse, stealing, and vengeance are not of a single kind or degree.

I believe that his reactions to the vast range of shortcomings and sins of humanity cover an equally vast range of disgust, wrath, disappointment, grief, sorrow, regret, and mourning.

Certainly this week there has been plenty for Him to mourn, plenty for Him to decry, plenty for Him to denounce, and plenty for Him to reject. On all sides.

I know for certain that each and every one of us, if we dig deep enough, has done things, said things, and thought things that do not reflect the image of God in even the smallest degree or measure.

And yet, against all odds and in spite of all our manifold undeservedness, He loves humanity and ushers in redemption for all who would claim it. And though His views and reactions to our individual and communal sins may be broad, the cost to forgive them is the same: a Single Life, sacrificed willingly and completely, bearing the weight of an entire world’s less-than-image-of-God-ness.

It seems as though there are a thousand reasons to not be grateful today, a thousand reasons to question humanity’s soul, a thousand reasons to selfishly ask where God is in the midst of sorrow and pain, and a thousand reasons to begrudge others, whether for their fortunes or their foolishness.

But those thousands upon thousands upon thousands of reasons crumble away into less than dust when held up against this single reason to give thanks: we are beloved by God Almightyoffered new life – real life, embraced with the powerfully just and gentle arms of Abba, Father. 

And oh, sweet Jesus, how much we need Your love and life and grace.

For this one thing – this single, immeasurable, infinite, boundless, incomprehensible (and entirely undeserved) gift, we give thanks. Thanks upon thanks upon thanks.

Now thank we all our God…

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