24th November 2013

 “Would Have Been Enough” 

“God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!”
Ephesians 3:20 (The Message) 

In the USA we are just about to celebrate Thanksgiving. Its traditions don’t have associations with the Bible or Christianity, but “giving thanks” is most certainly a biblical idea. Most Christians, whether or not they live in America, celebrate a form of “thanksgiving” more often than they realise. 

Eucharist is from the Greek eucharistia, means “thanksgiving”. So wherever and whoever we are, when we take the symbols of the blood and body of Jesus in communion or the Lord’s Supper, we are giving thanks and celebrating our life in Christ. 

Something else of interest: the ceremony of communion has its roots in the Jewish Passover, and part of the traditional Passover celebration is the hymn Dayenu. Essentially, the Hebrew means, “It would have been enough for us.” It’s sung as a response, after merciful and saving acts of God are recalled from the Hebrew bible—the parting of the Red Sea, the giving of the Sabbath, the completion of the temple. There are fifteen verses sung in all. The idea being that if God gave Israel just one of these blessings “it would have been enough.” 

Those physical interventions in Israel’s history may not be part of our history, but they are a wonderful reminder of God’s saving actions in our lives today. Just as God saved Israel in the parting of the Red Sea, he has saved us from drowning in sinfulness; as he gave Israel the Sabbath, he has given us rest in a new life in Christ; and as he completed the temple by taking up residence in it, he now lives in us. We too can say, “If he had only given us one of these blessings, it would have been enough.” 

The US’s national day of Thanksgiving is a good time to stop and think about how often we should say ‘Dayenu’ when we think of what God has done for us. Jesus went to the Cross, but the then rose from the grave, defeating death—inviting us to follow and do the same. He ascended to the Father and is taking us with him. And God continues to do more! It didn’t stop with the Incarnation of Jesus, or the miracles Jesus performed while on Earth. In the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, God didn’t just do what needed to be done for us, he continues to do all that can possibly be done to secure our salvation. 

I believe God is always moving and moves beyond our imaginations. As Paul wrote to the Ephesians, God does “more than we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20). So just as Israel sang a rising crescendo of thanksgiving with ‘Dayenu’, let gratitude be our crescendo for the one who is worthy of our praise.

Prayer
Generous Father, you continue to shower your blessings on us in ways we see and more often in ways we don’t. We offer the sacrifice of praise for that, realising that it will never be enough to show our eternal gratitude. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Amen
 

Study by Joseph Tkach

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joeandtammyAbout the Author:
Joseph Tkach is the President of Grace Communion International (the Denominational name of The Worldwide Church of God UK), and resides in California, USA.

You are welcome to attend one of our local Church congregations located throughout the UK.  For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.wcg.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

Contact:
Email:  admin@daybyday.org.uk

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