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  • Denise Kohlmeyer


The Greek word eucharistia translates, “Thankfulness, thanksgiving, giving thanks; literally, ‘the giving of thanks for God's grace’.” Did you notice? There is a direct correlation between gratitude and the taking of the eucharist, which was modeled by Jesus Christ at the last supper in Luke 22:17019.

After taking the cup, he gave thanks (eucharistia) and said, “Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And he took bread, gave thanks (eucharistia) broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me”

(emphasis mine).

Do you see it? In the offering of the bread (His body) and the wine (His blood), Jesus was expressing thankfulness for the grace, joy, and hope His death and resurrection would bring to those who would believe. When we take communion—whether it is weekly or once a month—we partake, 1) because Jesus instructed us to, and 2) because it is a holy and tangible expression of thankfulness.

As we ingest the wafer (His metaphorical body) and the wine (His metaphorical blood), we, too, are articulating our gratitude to God for His grace and kindness in sending His Son to die for our sins and for securing our salvation. In this way, the taking of communion is the quintessential expression of thanksgiving.

Secondly, giving thanks is quite literally part of doing God’s will, according to 1 Thessalonians 5:18,Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” This is an imperative sentence issuing a direct command: "give thanks." To not “give thanks in all circumstances” is to be disobedient.

Why give thanks, even in the worst of times? Because it shifts our focus from our circumstances and redirects it to the physical and spiritual blessings and benefits we have already have from God.

In this way, gratitude (the giving of thanks) is a choice. It is the deliberate mental redirect from what we aren’t or don’t have to who we are and what we do have. Says Pastor John Piper, “Genuine thankfulness is an act of the heart’s affections, not an act of the lip muscles. It is not willed but awakened. It is not a decision of the will, but a reflex of the heart.” I love this quote!

Gratitude is an awakening, of seeing ourselves through the eyes of Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord--loved, forgiven, redeemed, sanctified, made holy and spiritually healthy--and all that we have because of His gracious generosity--eternal life, godliness, righteousness, purity, and so much more!

Gratitude Attitude Challenge

Cultivating a life-long gratitude attitude takes practice, like anything worth doing and having. One way you can begin is to make it a daily practice of finding at least one thing or person you’re grateful for. As you approach Thanksgiving, let’s do this. Let’s give awaken this attitude by articulating our gratefulness each day--whether verbally or silently, it does not matter--for one thing or person God has blessed you with. By the time Thanksgiving rolls around, this should be an ingrained attitude, and one that will then carry you well beyond the holiday.

“Give thanks to the LORD and proclaim His greatness.

Let the whole world know what he has done.”

Psalm 105:1

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1 Comment

Patti Christopherson
Patti Christopherson
Nov 18, 2023

Such good words heading into Thanksgiving! Thank you for the encouragement!!

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