Sunday, February 13, 2011

On Eucharisteo

"And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them..." (Luke 22:19)

Just hours before Jesus was about to give up his life, He sits down to give thanks. He gave thanks?!  

Ann Voskamp, in her new book One Thousand Gifts, shares a revelation that literally changes her life and is in the process of changing mine. She digs into the root Greek word behind "thanks." It is eucharisteo and the contents of this word are unbelievable. 

Charis. Grace
Eucharisteo. Thanksgiving
Chara. Joy. 

The joy of life--life to the full--comes only after thanksgiving for the grace, the gifts God has given. We have been given the gift of salvation, and we have been ushered into the family of God, but have we yet experienced the full measure of life that Jesus came to bring us? Have we come to Him in the spirit of thanksgiving day in and day out, thus welcoming the miracle that is chara joy?

Ann takes readers through a new prospective of the story of the leper Jesus healed in Luke 17:11-19. We have all read, perhaps in awe, that Jesus healed all 10 men afflicted with this debilitating disease. After this, ONE of the men rushes back to Jesus, praising God for his healing. He thanked Jesus.

But what comes next?

Jesus turns to the man and says, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well." (vs. 19).

But wasn't the man already healed? Why did Jesus tell him once again that he was made well?

Perhaps the secret to a full life lived in the grace of God lies in that one part of the story we never noticed before. Yes, the man was already healed of his disease. But when he came back and exclaimed his thankfulness to The Master, he was given the gift of complete healing--wellness encompassing every part of his life. By having faith and a true attitude of thanks, this man found the fullness of life--the real healing Jesus is looking to give.

It starts with the gifts God gives.
We offer our thanks.
And we receive that miracle of joy--the full life.  

These gifts are all around us. The light streaming in the window. The cold water in my glass. The cat napping on the pillow. My husband's deep breathing. The wind blowing as the dried leaves cling to the branches. We don't have to pack a bag and travel the world to see the beauty. Our lives are brimming with the gifts of our great God. Even though our days may be filled with dirty dishes and jammed schedules and heartbreak, we are called to eucharisteo. Yes, even in the hard times. 

"Thanksgiving is inherent to a true salvation experience; thanksgiving is necessary to live the well, whole, fullest life" (One Thousand Gifts, p. 39). Eucharisteo thanks precedes us experiencing our fullest salvation in Christ, being saved from the bitter, angry, resentful qualities of sinful living. 

Join me and (in)courage Bloom Book Club as we experience the miracle full life that flows from thanksgiving. 

One Thousand Gifts: Chapter Two from Bloom (in)courage on Vimeo.

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