The other side of the prayer is thanksgiving. Both the Holy Scripture and Tradition – especially the liturgical tradition – call us to constant thanksgiving. This is what we must learn now – because we will give thanks forever and ever. How angels and saints sing in the Book of Revelation, “blessing and glory, and wisdom and thanksgiving, and honor and strength and strength to our God for ever and ever!” (
The idea of everlasting thanksgiving seems unbelieving to people repulsive and ridiculous; sometimes they can’t articulate exactly why, but she’s somehow annoying. We are often bothered by the need to thank our neighbors here on earth. Why?
Because in the fallen world, people often behave like a monkey pack, constantly figuring out who is one step higher in the informal hierarchy. And even gratitude turns an element of these monkey games – to thank, means to put yourself on the step below, to recognize yourself as the recipient of grace, and therefore someone dependent and weak. It happens that beneficence turns into a means of manipulation – “now you owe me the coffin of life!”, And therefore people reluctantly recognize their moral duty. This is especially evident when the level of trust between people is low – and they tend to see some kind of trick in mercy.
At best, gratitude is something from the field of etiquette, politeness, a pleasant, but not obligatory part of life. “Thanks in your pocket you will not put.”
But in reality, thanksgiving is the essence of life; Thanksgiving brings us into the right relationship with the reality, the reality of God, and the reality of others.
The Creator and the Lord of the Universe does not seek to extol over us — that would be extremely ridiculous and to think. He wants, on the contrary, to raise us to Himself. And thanksgiving opens our eyes to the reality of His love and care.
Once upon a time I watched a movie, the names of which I don’t remember. There was an elderly composer who gained recognition and fame, he lived in a beautiful house, he was selflessly courting his daughter, who surrounded him with incredible care and love – but he was always sad, angry and displeased. The coffee was either too hot, now too cold, the blanket on the chair was not laid all the time, the omelette was not cooked carefully enough … He was surrounded by the warmest and most touching love, but he was deeply unhappy because he did not see this love at all. not human love, nor the love of God.
God wants to make us happy – and in eternity immensely happy. But you can not make a happy person unable to gratitude; it is not only unfair, it is simply impossible .- To rejoice in paradise, we must have an open, humble and grateful heart; the ability to see the love of God and people, and recognize this love – “thank you, I am grateful.”
And we must learn to see this love here and now. We Christians believe in the providence — that God rules his creation, and guides him towards the goals he has intended. This whole incredibly complex system, including galaxies and nebulae, snow and fog, gravity and magnetism, sun and rain, people and animals, is ruled by God – and is controlled in detail. As the Lord Jesus says, “Are not two small birds sold for an assar? And not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s [will] ”(
There is a famous phrase, “The bread that you ate this morning, God cooked all night.” In fact, much longer, and this bread went through many hands, and got on the table with the work of many people – God arranged it all so that you could have breakfast. This is not just a piece of bread and butter – this is the message of His love and care. On this rectangular rectangle it is written: “I love you and care for you.”
Thanksgiving takes everything as a gift; all that we have, all that we use, all that we rejoice, is a gift, a manifestation of love. The taste of food, the light of the day, the smell of a flower, the sound of music — everything speaks of His love, care, and that great and inexpressible joy that He prepares for us.
In prayer we turn to God and say – yes, we believe, we are grateful.
Everything that we have is received from God. He empowers us with the ability to work so that we can participate in His care for creation; sends us air, water, and food; our very existence is a gift of His love. Thanksgiving recognizes this – yes, we are surrounded by love and care, and we thank for that.
However, this consciousness — I have nothing of my own, everything is only the gift of God — reveals our distrust of God; we feel vulnerable. It’s terrible among people to be totally dependent on someone else’s mercy; people often deny it to each other. But we can rely on God; yes, we have nothing but His love and mercy; but it is the most durable, reliable and undoubted thing in the whole universe. We thank Him for joy in well-being and consolation in grief; but most of all we thank for the gift of eternal life that God has prepared for us in Jesus Christ. As stated in the Anaphora (liturgical prayer) of St. John Chrysostom, “You brought us from non-existence into existence, and exalted you, exalted your packs, and did not depart, if you do it, you created the whole and gave your kingdom your future. About all of them we are grateful to Thee, and Your Only Begotten Son, and Your Holy Spirit, about all, their vems and their veils, revealed and implicit blessings that were upon us. ”
We see how far the love of God extended to each of us — He put on flesh, was crucified and buried for us, ungrateful and ill-tempered. He gave us the kingdom. We acknowledge it and give thanks – “Thanks to God for His unspeakable gift!” (