Entering this season of Advent, let us return again and again to the stories of God’s deliverance of Israel and to the Psalms that recount them. Let us inhabit these ancient songs, allowing their words to become our words as we respond to the enemies we encounter and as we reflect on the coming of the Deliverer.
When we say we give thanks, do we really only mean the good things? Or, like our Savior on the night He was betrayed, could we really give thanks in all things, every single day?
I confess I have not always chosen to understand or embrace the white privilege I hold as a female of Northern European-Dutch descent. I confess as a child I was taught to fear those different than myself.
“Rejoice always,” the Bible says. Be joyful when things go right; be joyful when things go wrong. Be joyful in every situation, even if that means ignoring our sinful instinct of worry and finding a joyful way of finding hope in the Lord.
Simply resolving to be more thankful doesn’t work. Despite my best intentions, I quickly forget, and instead fret after the desires of my sinful heart. It’s a rare day that thankfulness springs up spontaneously.
Paul is telling us as plainly as he knows how that being a Christian does not ask anything of us, because God has already demanded everything of Christ. There is no way we need to act, no things we need to do, no commitment we need to live up to. Why not?