For fear of sounding like I have my seasons mixed up, I want to share part of Luke 24, the account of Jesus walking with two of his disciples after his resurrection. Trust me, I’ll bring it back to Thanksgiving at the end.
Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him.
He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”
They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”
“What things?” he asked.
“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place.In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”
He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.
When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.
Luke 24: 13-13
I can’t stop shaking my head at this in complete amazement. Yes, I know Jesus purposefully kept them from recognizing Him and He only permitted them to do so at a specific time, yet this one thought keeps running through my mind:
If Jesus’ gratitude was the thing that made him most recognizable to those who most pursued him, then what does our gratitude do to those who try to hide from the Christ? Does it somehow make the divine recognizable in this land of hurry, self and despair?
I can’t say for sure, but if that’s the case, then let’s get this gratitude party started.
Oh, Lord, help us see more of you around us everyday. Help us remember your role and your presence in everything we do. And help us learn to offer praise and thanksgiving more than we ever knew possible. Thank you, Lord. Amen.