“Oh give thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his love endures forever.” Psalm 118:1
This psalm is a psalm that is getting a bit harder to say. Look around the world, and you can see all kinds of things that are evil. ISIS is on the move causing terror and wrath everywhere it goes. Just ask Paris. One does not have to look to hard to find how corrupt and sinful we humans are in this world. We confess that we are sinful and unclean every Sunday when we confess our sins in the church service.
In this world it is hard to thank God because of all the bad things that are happening right now, but that is exactly what we should be doing. We should be thanking God that he hasn’t destroyed the world already. Instead of destroying it and starting over, he loved his creation even in its sinful state. Perhaps even more so. This love of God is not short-term. It endures forever as the psalmist says. The people of the Old Testament were promised a savior. They were promised a king who would make everything right once again. They waited for the Messiah, God’s anointed. And He came born of the Virgin. God’s love was not done in His coming into the world, but it was just beginning to manifest itself. You were shown this love at the cross where Jesus, God’s only Son, died to give you forgiveness and freedom from sins. And God’s love is still showing itself in how He sustains His faithful in this world for the next.
From Jesus’ death on the cross comes all good things. God has shown us His unending love. Not only has He forgiven our sins, but He also promised to take us to be with Him in heaven. You are baptized into this promise. You are baptized into Christ. Sin has no power over you because of what Jesus has done for you. Is this world still full of sin? Of course it is. And it will continue to be until the king of the universe returns again in all His glory. But we can and should give thanks that our heavenly Father who sustains us here in this life with blessings for our body and especially for our soul, namely Christ’s body and blood to eat and to drink in His Holy Supper. It is not a coincidence that one of the terms for the Sacrament is the Eucharist, which comes from the Greek verb for giving thanks. Each time we partake of this wondrous meal we are giving thanks to God that his love endures forever.
May we continue to say with those saints who have gone before us, “Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is good, and His love endures forever. For we have seen the Lord’s love poured out for us at the cross. And you have tasted the goodness of the Lord in His Supper. Amen.