What Can Jesus the King Teach Us About Thanksgiving?

Today is Christ the King, the last Sunday of the Christian year. It’s also the Sunday before Thanksgiving, time for scrambling in many homes as the preparations for Thanksgiving dinner begin: Getting the turkey out of the freezer. Rearranging the refrigerator so the turkey fits to defrost. Making spiced nuts for appetizers and an ice cream pie as one of the desserts. Writing a check to the food bank to help feed the homeless and hungry.

In all this, we seek to feel the presence of Jesus. What would he tell us about thanksgiving? One way to find out is to meditate on moments when he expressing gratitude. Here are a few:

Matthew 11:25: Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.”

John 11:41: They took away the stone (from Lazarus’ tomb.) And Jesus lifted his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.”

Matthew 15:36: Jesus took the seven loaves and the fish, and, having given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples.

Luke 22:17: And he took the cup, and, when he had given thanks, he said, “Take this, and divide among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”

Jesus is not only God; he is the finest example of a grateful human being.