A Prayer of Thanks for Those Who’ve Given Us the Gospel

     I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Phil. 1:3-6
     Dear Heavenly Father, during this Thanksgiving weekend, I’m thankful for a cornucopia of things, and today I’m especially thankful today for the women and men you’ve used over the years to bring me into a greater understanding and experience of the gospel.
     I praise you for those who’ve helped me understand the lyric of the gospel—it’s theological content. As a young convert my arrogant mantra was, “Don’t give me theology, just give me Jesus.” My sentiments were good, but my sensibilities were shoddy. To speak the name Jesus is to do theology. Thank you for patient teachers who have opened the Scriptures and have shown me the real Jesus—the one who lived and died in my place and who is making all things new; the Lord who is the Second Adam, not my second chance—my substitute, not just my example.
     I praise you for friends who’ve helped me hear and experience the music of the gospel—those broken and beautiful saints who have helped me get a taste of the radical goodness of the gospel; its life-giving liberty, its healing melody, and its soul-engaging joy. Now I know you to be a God who greatly delights in your people, who quiets us with his love, who rejoices over us with singing. This is astonishing, even shocking, and it’s all because of what Jesus has done for us.
     I praise you for friends who’ve taught and modeled the dance of the gospel for me—its missional movement and power. Now I see the whole world as the dance floor of grace and restoration. Father, you created all things and you are redeeming all things, and when you get wild prodigals and stuffy elder brothers into your dance of the gospel, you take the dance outside of the house into our neighborhoods and among the nations. Father, thank you for my dance instructors.
     Lord Jesus, you crushed the head of the serpent for us, and you will soon crush him under our own feet (Rom. 16:20). The gospel of the kingdom is infiltrating and transforming every sphere of life, and our future is so far beyond all that we can ask or imagine. During this Thanksgiving weekend, I am most of all thankful for you, for you are the gospel—our peace, joy and hope. So very Amen I pray, in your merciful and mighty name.