In the person of Christ Jesus we find the fullness of Gods help for us. Jesus, sent from heaven into human flesh has cleansed us by the shedding of His blood, and in the waters of Holy Baptism has claimed us as His own dear children, beloved members of His household. For you, Jesus has forgiveness which leads to life.
Think of all the people that are in your life in one way or another. Family, friends, co-workers and business associates. Each and every one of them has been put into your life by God. All of them. Even the people you don’t particularly care for. Even the ones who are not all the fond of you are in your life because God has willed it that way.
St. Paul, writing in Philippians gives us a challenging Word regarding all of the people God has brought into our lives. We are invited to give thanks to God for them. Especially are we invited to thank God for the blessing of the faith of others, and to pray for those who do not trust in Jesus for salvation. While it is easy to pray for those we love, and like, the challenge Scripture is giving us is to thank God even for the people that drive us nuts!
Even so, how can you give thanks for those who have sinned against you? No easy task.
First, know that the grace of God in Jesus is so all encompassing, that even when you fail to give thanks, you are not condemned for it. Rather, you are directed to drink cup of salvation, that is, hear preaching and the Word of Christ, that you may be filled with His Word of forgiveness and love.
Second, know that the Lord, who has covered you sin, and wiped clean all your debt will strengthen you I His Word, that you may indeed share His forgiveness with others. We are not thankful for the hurts we have suffered, rather, we are thankful for the mercy God gives.
The good work began in you by your baptism into the Name of our Savior will be brought to completion on the day of His return. Therefore, our prayer for each other is that the Spirit may continue to bless us all with grace, that the fruit of Christ’s love may live richly in us.