we give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ Colossians 1:3 NASB
Thanks – We all know this Greek word; we just didn’t know that it was the Greek word for “thanks.” It is eucharisteo. When you sound it out, you will see that it is the word Eucharist – the Lord’s Supper. Now you know that taking the Lord’s Supper is an act of thanksgiving, for that is exactly what it means. It means to express gratitude, give thanks and to be thankful. This verse comes from the letter to the church at Colossae, but this greeting is very common in all of Paul’s letters. Why do you suppose Paul was so anxious to give thanks each time he wrote to a struggling assembly? Because Paul knew the power of redemption. Paul knew that Yeshua could completely remake a life of hatred, envy, revenge, murder and persecution into a life of unwavering commitment to God’s purposes. Paul knew because it happened to him. Each time he opened his mouth, thanks to God spilled forth. He couldn’t help it.
In the Twelve Step tradition there is a special emphasis on being eternally grateful for the life changing power of God’s redemption. Sometimes when we get so busy with our everyday concerns, we tend to forget what God did for us. We may not have been the worst morally perverse person we could have been – although of course, all of those possibilities reside somewhere in our selfishness. If we are honest, we all know that we could have been what we decry and that those acts of self-gratification that belong to our past removed us just as far from God as any act of Paul’s. The Twelve Step traditions also call for a fearless moral inventory. That work comes before real gratitude. After we have really examined ourselves by God’s standard, we can see what we really were before God pulled us out of our self-made hell.
That’s reason enough to celebrate eucharisteo today. You don’t need bread and wine. All you need is a heart that is eternally grateful.
Topical Index: eucharisteo, thanks, Colossians 1:3