National Day of Thanksgiving

Tomorrow marks our annual National Day of Thanksgiving. The day is designed as a celebration to thank God, and to thank one another. It is endorsed by the Governor General, and has bi-partisan political support.

Thanksgiving is at the heart of the gospel; it is the spring from which our Christian life flows. When we see who God is for us in Jesus Christ, we can only respond with gratitude and thankfulness. All we are and do then flows from appreciating and experiencing the transforming power and insight of this eternal reality. We are not slaving away, hoping to please a critical, angry and easily offended God. We are sharing in the grace of God who is love – who has always loved us, and always will. For which our lives become a constant expression of grace and gratitude.

As one church leader put it, hopefully a day of thanksgiving can work as an antidote to the “culture of complaint, criticism and cynicism” that is so prevalent. We see the culture of complaint all about us every day; it oozes its way into just about everything we see and hear. It becomes “normal” that human beings are quick to believe the worst. To impute negative motives. It becomes accepted that it is always the most negative innuendo that makes its way so briskly through the rumour mill. That bad news sells, that good news rarely makes it into the public domain.

A culture of thanksgiving and gratitude, and a culture of affirmation, go together. Thanksgiving is a vital part of the blood flow of our Life Together. So, while giving thanks to God is an integral part of daily life, why not find time for special thanksgiving this weekend. And why not say, write, email, or text someone who has been a blessing to you and say “thanks” as well. (You just might change their lives for the better in the process.)

After all, our desire is to reflect Paul’s beautiful prayer to the Thessalonians: to always be a joyful church, a praying church, and a thankful church (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

John McLean

Mission and National Director

Grace Communion International, Australia



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