Advent 2016 – Day 21

Are you enjoying all the Christmas fudge and cookies these days? Are you also feeding your soul? Thanks for coming back for another of these Advent devotionals on “Thanking Jesus.”

My husband visited in the home of a local family when he was touring Russia. His host asked him if he would say a blessing before they began the evening meal. Gene offered thanks to God for the food and the new friendships being made. The next day, the family asked Gene to say grace again. Again Gene prayed, expressing simple appreciation for God’s provision. After the “Amen,” Gene looked up to see surprise registered on the faces of his host family. Accustomed to rote prayers of their Orthodox church, the father said, “You know two graces!”

Jesus too made a habit of thanking God for his food. He thanked God as he blessed the loaves and the fishes before distributing them to the 5000 and again when He fed the 4000. He blessed the meal at the Last Supper. But Jesus also expressed gratitude at other times. For example, as Jesus stood before Lazarus’ grave, he prayed. In John 11:41, we read that prayer: “Father, thank you for hearing me. You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe You sent Me.”

Many of us remember to pause and say grace before we eat, but do we pause and offer thanks aloud when there are strangers standing nearby? We never know when those who overhear us may become curious and choose to believe in our Savior.


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