St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Thanksgiving - 2003

by Fr. Rodney Torbic


"Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Eph .5:20)

The Holy Apostle Paul told the Ephesians to be thankful to God for all things. If we examine the words of St. Paul, we will learn from all things we experience.

If we are observant, we see God at work in the world. If we experience pain and hardship, we have reasons to draw near to God in prayer. If we face, punishment, we are clearly reminded to repent and return to the way of God.

When we have food on our table and a roof over our head, we have reasons to thank God. If we have good health, we have reason to thank God. When we face illness or tragedy, we can thank God for life He has given.

Being able to see, to breathe and to talk are reasons to thank God. Being able to hear, to think, and to sense are reasons to thank God. Having pain is a signal that something must be done. Let us thank God for the ability to sense pain.

Each talent is a gift from God. Each skill is a gift from God. For talents and skills, let us give thanks to God.

Jesus Christ took on flesh and walked the earth. We can never stop thanking Jesus for His humility, His teachings, His suffering on the Cross. We can never stop thanking Jesus for His Resurrection.

God hears each prayer. We have reason to thank God for being attentive. God provides hope when illness and tragedy strike, when problems confront us. We have reasons to thank God for hope, to thank God for being God.

We have reasons to thank God for our parents, who with God gave us life. We have reasons to thank God for our family and friends with whom we have shared life.

We have reasons to thank God for our Diocesan Bishop, the priests, monastics and churches of our Diocese. We have reason to be thankful for the St. George Church where we can experience God, learn about God and turn to God in prayer.

We live in country where education is accessible. We live in a country where freedom exists. We have reason to be thankful for educational opportunities and for freedom.

The love of God is known to believers. The forgiveness of God is known to believers. The mercy of God is known to believers, For forgiveness, for mercy, for the love of God, we have reasons to be thankful.

Each person has the ability to pray. Prayer puts into action our hopes, our faith in God, our pleas for mercy. To be able to pray is reason to be thankful. To recognize gifts from God is reason to be thankful.

Jesus told of the ten lepers who were healed and of the one who who returned to say "thank you". (Lk. 17:11-19) For all things, let us give thanks.

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