Worship | "So long, and thanks for all the fish"
Last updated 1/29/2020 at 12:11pm
In the book, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Earth is in the way of a new hyper-spatial expressway…which means, out with the old and in with the new: Earth will be pulverized to make room. So, there is a limited amount of time for people to get their affairs in order; except, no one knows it’s happening. But the dolphins, of course, being the second-most intelligent species on earth, just below mice, decide that they better leave or be obliterated with everyone else. Before leaving, they send this message: “So long, and thanks for all the fish.”
What is it about “Thanks”, anyway? We all say it. And most of the time, we mean it. This past season, we probably had lots of opportunities to say thanks, and I imagine most of us have gotten past the stage where, at this point in January, mom reminds us we have to get those thank-you notes finished.
The Bible has a lot to say about thankfulness…in 150 different places, as a matter of fact. Jesus Christ made a point of modeling thankfulness when He thanked and praised God the Father. There is even a thank offering (a type of fellowship offering outlined in Leviticus chapter 7) the Jewish people were to remember. Thankfulness and praise often are together in Scripture. It helps us remember that it is Jesus Christ who is our Savior, and it is with a thankful heart that we praise Him for being our Lord, Provider, Protector… well, basically our everything.
There’s a good account in Mark chapter 12 of a time Jesus was teaching His disciples about thankfulness. They all sat down at the temple and watched as people came and deposited their offerings. The rich put large amounts into the treasury. You can maybe picture it; they likely made a huge spectacle of their act so others would take notice and be impressed. Their gift wasn’t so much out of thankfulness for God’s blessings; it was to elevate themselves over others. Then came a poor widow; I picture her as maybe old, shuffling slowly toward the treasury, head covered with a tattered scarf, and her clothes torn and faded. She put in two copper coins, worth less than a penny. Jesus’ comment: “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything - all she had to live on.” (vv43-44)
Quiz time: which one gave with a spirit of thankfulness? Pretty obviously, it was the poor widow. Romans 3:21-24: “But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
It doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor; we all need Jesus Christ. As kids, we’re taught to thank people when they have done something nice for us. God says to give thanks in ALL circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Remember this the next time ego or pride, or even envy, rears up in your mind. “Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7) As the ultimate supplier of all the fish, He is certainly worthy of our praise and thankful heart.