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.