Is our thanksgiving meant to be private? I was thinking about this the other day as I read through Isaiah 12 and connected it to the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.
There is often such an individual focus to our Christian faith in the churches of the U.S. these days that we can be tempted to believe that our faith is all about “me and God.” We talk about a “personal relationship with God,” “my personal quiet time,” and “my preference in worship” that leads me to go where I can “get my spiritual needs met.” There is no denying that we need to connect with God personally, but to miss the communal and family aspect of Christian Faith, is to lose the faith altogether. Jesus makes is clear that there is a connection between loving God and loving others, including those we might consider “enemies.”
This truth resounded for me again as I read the passage from Isaiah 12. It is clear in this passage that the salvation experience of the individual (Isaiah 12:1-3) must find expression in the community of faith (Isaiah 12:4-6). When I experience God’s saving grace and blessings in my life there is always a natural flow and tendency to invite others in to the blessing and experience; into the love and goodness of God. “God has become my salvation…” ultimately leads to “Give thanks to the Lord…make known among the nations what he has done and proclaim that his name is exalted.”
As we reflect on all we have to be thankful for this week, let’s remember we are not simply called to a private thanksgiving. Give praise, make known, sing and shout aloud, so that all may know this great God through Jesus Christ, to who we give thanks and praise!