Giving Thanks

Kristen Deede Johnson

READ : Matthew 26:26-29

While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” (v. 26)

This final supper that Jesus ate with his disciples is commemorated all over the world. It has different names in different traditions: the Lord’s Supper, Holy Communion, the Mass, the Eucharist. I was delighted to discover a few years ago that this last word, Eucharist, is intimately connected to giving thanks; the Greek term eucharisto means “I give thanks.” In modern Greek it’s still the way you say thank-you.

Giving thanks is precisely what Jesus did in the Last Supper. He gave thanks for the bread and then for the wine, even as he anticipated that the bread would symbolize his body broken for us and the wine would become his blood of the covenant, poured out for us for the forgiveness of sins. How can we respond to the good news of Christ’s sacrifice, which enables us to have communion with God, except with our own deep and wholehearted thanks? As we give thanks to God, we must always remember that our thanksgiving is rooted in God’s love for us, a love made known most vividly through the self-sacrifice of God’s Son, Jesus Christ.


Father, thank you for the loving sacrifice of Christ that allows us to live as your children.