Reading: Mark 8:27-30 NKJV
Now Jesus and His disciples went out to the towns of Caesarea Philippi; and on the road He asked His disciples, saying to them, “Who do men say that I am?”
So they answered, “John the Baptist; but some say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.”
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Peter answered and said to Him, “You are the Christ.”
Father, we thank you for so many things – most often for food and drink, for our homes, for our loved ones, for the beauty of nature. And that is well and good. But Father, I wonder how often we thank you for Jesus.
At Christmas, we often do thank you for the gift of your Son, born in a manger to the Virgin Mary, but there is so much more for which we can be thankful.
We thank you that Jesus was born in common, humble circumstances, not sequestered in a palace, but available to the rough, the poor, the lost.
We thank you for Mary and Joseph who raised Jesus with a love and nurture and wonder at which we can only guess.
We thank you for the dedication of Jesus, who was determined to serve you for our sake, even when the strongest temptations urged him to turn away.
We thank you for the disciples and followers of Jesus, men and women from ordinary lives, ordinary jobs, who by your power were able to do extraordinary things.
We thank you for the compassion of Jesus for the suffering and the poor, who are forgotten by those in power, but remembered by You.
We thank you for the teaching of Jesus, which revealed to the world the true heart of God.
We thank you for the parables of Jesus, as he sought to make the mystery of your Kingdom accessible through examples from this life.
We thank you for the miracles of Jesus, all done for your glory and for the healing and help of others, never for himself.
We thank you for the self-sacrifice of Jesus, who suffered and died for the salvation of the world.
We thank you for the Resurrection of Jesus, defeating forever the power of death, and opening to us the gift of eternal life.
For the gift of Jesus, for all he was, all he is, all he ever shall be, we give you thanks, Father.
In thanking you for Jesus, we thank you too for the Gospels, which faithfully convey to us Jesus in all his fullness.
May our gratitude be expressed through the time we take and commitment we make to come to know the life of Jesus better and better, as we read the Gospels time and again, spending moments of each day in your Word, blessed by your Holy Spirit, in the presence of Your Son.
May our focus, so easily distracted by so many things, always and again come to rest upon Jesus, and the grace, mercy and love which comes from a life lived in him. Amen.