Give Thanks and Let It Kill You

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“Good times gone, and you missed them.
What’s gone wrong in your system?

Good times gone, but you feed it.
Hate’s grown strong, you feel you need it.
Just one thing, do you know you?

What’s gonna set you free?
Look inside and you’ll see.
When you’ve got so much to say, it’s called gratitude.
And that’s right.”

Well how many have found this year incredibly easy to be grateful for? No?
Quite opposite, most likely.
In the season of thanksgiving, how do you…give THANKS when there seems so little to give thanks for?

Good times seem a distant memory, and we miss them.
A year of isolation, of misinformation, of lies, and of hate.

When the obscene and the profane overwhelms, where is the sacred? And how do you give thanks?
What does Thanksgiving even look like anymore?

WHERE IS THE MEANING IN ALL THIS MEANINGLESSNESS???

Well if you’ve been keeping up with me for any length of time, you’ll know I’ve spoken to some extent on the subject of meaning. And about just maybe where the presence of eternity is (hint: here and now, if only you just LOOK for it). However, I was asked recently about what my thoughts were on “those who are worthy of inheriting the kingdom of G-d.” And while I gave a pretty stream of consciousness answer to a very heavy question, I’ve got to be honest, it’s weighed on me since being asked (but in a good way. A good…weigh.). Particularly in light of both the Thanksgiving holiday, and also this holiday season itself.

Who are those worthy of inheriting the Kingdom???

At first glance, I think it’s easy to reduce this answer into doctrine and dogma, and by doing so, completely miss the meaning. And the wonder.
The Kingdom is G-d’s presence. Where G-d dwells. Nothing shameful nor deceitful can enter. It is a place consecrated. Set apart. Holy.
Sacred.

Sanctified.

So it would make sense that those “worthy of inheriting” the Kingdom are ALSO set apart. Also Holy. Those worthy of inheriting a holy, sacred, sanctified and set apart Kingdom…are those who THEMSELVES are holy, sacred, sanctified and set apart.
And YET, we’re told by Jesus that when you pray, it should be like this (form and structure, including these elements): “Thy KINGDOM COME, Thy WILL BE DONE. Here on earth, as it is in heaven.”

Those of you that pray the Lord’s prayer. Those of you that say those exact words, do you ACTUALLY EVEN BELIEVE IT? Do you actually MEAN the words you say when you say them? G-d’s Kingdom come, here and now on earth as it is in heaven, G-d’s Will be done, here and now on earth as it is in heaven.” Do you mean it? Do you really want that? Not to wait for death in order to reach Heaven, but for Heaven to DWELL, HERE and NOW, on earth. (We ARE told to seek the Kingdom first, not wait for heaven….seek the Kingdom HERE and NOW. And given the promise that when we seek, we SHALL find… hmmmmm. I don’t know if that was meant to be a brain teaser.)

I wonder if that’s actually the second bit of that prayer: G-d’s Will be done. The Will IS for the Kingdom to “come,” here and now, on earth. 

Well so then what IS this Kingdom that we’re asking to come and be here and now?
What IS the “Will” that we’re asking to come and be here and now?

1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18
Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is G-d’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

THIS is G-d’s will: “chairō pantote; proseuchomai adialeiptōs; eucharisteō pas.”

chairō pantote: lit. “be glad always”
proseuchomai adialeiptōs: lit. “pray incessantly”
eucharisteō pas: lit. “be thankful in all (or all things)”

Wow. So G-d’s Will is to celebrate Thanksgiving more than just once a year, and more than just for America.
Hey did you catch the Greek word for being thankful, or professing (verbally) thanks, the Greek word for “giving thanks” is eucharisteō? Where we get our word eucharist? If you’re not Catholic, the Eucharist is the holy tradition of transubstantiation. Begun by Jesus and His Apostles at the Last Supper, transubstantiation is when priests turn bread and wine into His Real Presence, His Body and Blood.
You may think of it as Communion.
Now I’m no Catholic (hell, I’m also probably not much of a Protestant), but I find it fascinating that the Eucharist IS Thanksgiving. And Thanksgiving IS…the Eucharist.

And partaking in it IS G-d’s will.

Maybe the Beastie Boys were right:
What’s gonna set you free?
Look inside and you’ll see.
When you’ve got so much to say, it’s called gratitude.
And that’s right.

So G-d’s Will is to be THANKFUL. In ALL THINGS. Good, bad, sacred, profane.
But…WHY? And what about the Kingdom Come?
Is it just the power of positive thinking? Denial of negativity, of wickedness, of obscenity and profanity?

Is G-d’s will just for us to force ourselves to be happy and optimistic, even if/when we’re not?

Romans 12: 2
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what the will of G-d is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Well we’re told what the will of G-d is: To give thanks in ALL things.
But again, WHY? Just because we’re commanded to?

1 Timothy 4:4-5
For everything created by G-d is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude (eucharisteō); for it is sanctified by means of the word of G-d and prayer.

Now…I have to take a moment and address the thing we need to take note of: throughout scripture, you’ve got a message that G-d created all things, good AND bad.
Ephesians 3:9 “G-d, who created all things”.
Isaiah 45:7 “The One forming light and creating darkness, causing well-being and chaos (lit. evil): I am the Lord who does all these.
Colossians 1:15-17 “He is the image of the invisible G-d, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
John 1:1-3 “In beginning was the Word, and the Word was with G-d, and the Word was G-d. He was in the beginning with G-d. All things came into being through Him and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

Those last two are referring to Jesus. But they call him “the Word.” And in “the Word,” ALL THINGS are not only made, but ALL THINGS hold together. “Word” here in the Greek is logos. Literally meaning “spoken word.” But also “reason,” and even “meaning.”
So when we look back at 1 Timothy 4, “For everything created by G-d is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude (eucharisteō); for it is sanctified by means of THE WORD (lit. logos) of G-d and prayer.”

If a thing is received with gratitude, that is, a spoken word of thanksgiving, it is SANCTIFIED by means of THE WORD.

When you’ve got so much to say it’s called gratitude.
And that’s right.” 
What if all you say (your spoken word, lit. “logos”) IS gratitude, that is, IS Thanksgiving (eucharisteō), and you aren’t even aware. 
And it’s not only MAKING all things, but holding ALL THINGS together.

And you don’t even know it

But becoming AWARE of it, would it cause you to want to actively participate in it? In the eucharisteō?
In Thanksgiving?

What’s the will of G-d? 
To pray incessantly, and give thanks in all things. But if the Bible is true, then by doing so, we not only SEE the GOODNESS of and in all things (as all things are created by G-d THROUGH the Word that is Jesus), but by doing so, we SANCTIFY. ALL. THINGS.

WATCH VIDEO:

The name Jesus means, “G-d IS Salvation (not “provides salvation”, IS SALVATION)” but maybe the WORD of G-d, the LOGOS, IS…THANKSGIVING.

Eucharisteō.

What if the Will of G-d IS truly to pray and give thanks, to speak Thanksgiving INTO the world. Because by doing so, you SANCTIFY it. You set apart and make holy everything you “give thanks” for.
The Holy of Holy’s was the temple, but somehow beyond just the temple. It is said to be where the presence of G-d dwelled among men.
The PRESENCE…of everything we hope of what’s to come. The Kingdom of Heaven, but in a tiny little living space.
It was the future, but here and now in the present. It was the pace where “it is finished. (telos. Lit. “COMPLETED, FULFILLED”).” A place of Goodness and Shalom. Everything is good and in its right place.
That presence, that space that is Holy and Sacred.
And there was a curtain that separated it from NOW, from HERE. Divided. Separated the holy, the sacred, the sanctified and set apart, from the obscene and the profane.
And then Jesus said on the cross, “it is finished.” And that curtain tore in two. Split asunder.
And that PRESENCE spilled out.
And that presence is now EVERYWHERE, making its way into EVERYTHING.
The Holy of Holy’s is no longer in a tiny little living space. The holy, the sacred, the sanctified and set apart is now EVERYWHERE, making its way into EVERYTHING.

The KINGDOM…has come.

Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be done. Here and Now on earth, as it is in Heaven.”

G-d’s Will is for us to be thankful.
In all things, and for all thingsGood, bad, sacred, profane. The holy things, AND the unholy things. Because when you do, you see that there IS nothing unholy. Everything has worth. Giving thanks doesn’t GIVE worth, nor is it only for things that have worth. It REVEALS worth.

And the promise is, when you give thanks?
All things are sanctified.

Maybe that’s the meaning for this season. The meaning for Thanksgiving. And moreso, the meaning for the eucharist. Catholics consider the Eucharist, the turning bread and wine into Jesus, the “Source and Summit’’ of the faith. We consume Jesus, and join with Him. But the MEANING behind the Greek word, Eucharisteō, IS to GIVE THANKS.
It’s not just to be thankful for Christ. It’s that in doing so, we’re engaged in the sacred. And the sacred is Jesus. And the sacred is giving thanks. But there’s more.
You see, according to scripture, the WORD, the logos, is not only what makes things sacred, it holds all things together. And when we partake in the eucharist we partake of Jesus. When we partake of Jesus, we join with Him in PERFORMING the sacred.
In giving thanks for all things, we engage in creating all things. And ultimately, sanctifying all things. 
Because the Eucharist isn’t just about taking IN Jesus, consuming the Logos. It’s also about SPEAKING that Logos.
And when we do so, we engage in the sacred. And thus, not only reveal our own sacredness, but are revealed, we WITNESS the sacredness of ALL THINGS. The worthiness of ALL THINGS.

 

So to answer that question:
Who is worthy of the Kingdom of G-d?” 
ONLY the holy, the sacred, the sanctified and set apart are.

But guess what, if scripture is true, then we can set apart all things. Make them holy, and sacred.
If scripture is true, if we’re to believe it, WE have the ability to sanctify ALL THINGS.

Maybe that “Word”, the logos—that is, the MEANING, that holds all things together is, “thanks!”
Maybe…the thing that not only creates all things, sustains all things, AND..holds all things together, is gratitude
When you’ve got so much to say (the word, that is, the Logos), it’s called gratitude.

Through OUR thanksgiving, we can sanctify ALL THINGS.

And as such, ALL THINGS are—IN THANKSGIVINGWORTHY of inheriting the Kingdom of G-d.


…And THAT…sounds like “the Kingdom.
And moreso, that might just be what’s meant by the “Kingdom COME.

Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done. Here and now as it is in heaven.

Give thanks, see the kingdom, sanctify ALL things.

Wait a minute! There’s things here! There’s trees! There’s rocks! There’s birds! There’s squirrels! Come on! We’ll BLESS them all until we get vashnigyered!


Let’s party.

Thanks to all my patrons, parishioners, and anonymous supporters for their encouragement and support in writing and publishing this piece:
Abel
Astrid
Caleb
David
Gabe
Jess
Jen
Kelly
Manis
Mathunna
Max
Trini

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