Generosity and justice are a reflex of thanksgiving

Previously I blogged that this three part dynamic is central to Israel’s worldview:
1. God has given generously
2. His people respond with thanksgiving
3. Thanksgiving results in generosity, justice and inclusion
We may describe the dynamic in shorthand: gift – thanksgiving – generosity/justice/inclusion.

We must allow Israel’s view of God, the world and others to shape our own. As Christians we appropriate the Old Testament worldview through Christ, his life, death, resurrection, ascension and return.

We begin here: at the heart of reality is a generous God. God has given us the world; in the resurrection of Christ new creation has begun! The ‘myth of scarcity’ (Douglas Meek’s term) that inhabits our satiated culture is replaced by an assurance that we have enough to live and enough to be generous.

Second, a life of thanksgiving follows from knowledge of this reality. Thanksgiving holds our lives and the world ever before us as a gift. It is at odds with the myth of the ‘self made man’ and a posture of grasping.

Third, generosity, justice and inclusion are a reflex of thanksgiving. For thanksgiving affirms that ‘God owns it all and wants all people to be able to enjoy some of it’ (Doug Blomberg). Our lives, land, possessions and even families remain gifts. They are given to us, and through us to the world.


About Mark Glanville

Mark Glanville is a pastor-scholar who ministers in a missional urban community, Grandview Church, Vancouver. Mark is Professor of Old Testament and congregational studies at the Missional Training Center, Phoenix (, and he teaches at Regent College, Vancouver. Mark's research focusses upon the Pentateuch, biblical ethics, and mission. Mark has authored "Adopting the Stranger as Kindred" (SBL, 2018), "Reading Exodus: Society Reshaped by Kinship" (Lexham, forthcoming), numerous refereed articles (including in the Journal of Biblical Literature (2018), Journal for the Study of the Old Testament (2019), and Refuge Journal (2013)) and chapters on the Pentateuch, mission, and refugee related issues, as well as numerous popular articles. Mark is presently co-authoring a book, "Providing Refuge: A Missional and Political Theology." Mark is called upon to speak on in Canada, the U.S., and Australia. His previous career was as a jazz pianist in Sydney, Australia (Chick Corea and Wynton Kelly are his musical heroes).
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