Today we celebrate Thanksgiving in the year of our Lord 2020. Despite the overwhelming consensus that the year 2020 has been one to forget, I imagine most folks will still be acknowledging many blessings in their life for which they are thankful.
But maybe for you, this year has been too much. Maybe this year has brought an end to your patience. Or your financial health. Or you mental health. Or your most treasured relationships. Maybe you really aren’t sure how you could possibly express thanks.
May I suggest you might find an answer in the little word “now.” Below is one verse from a book in the Bible called “Romans.” It was written by a follower of Jesus named Paul, but ultimately it was written by God. Here is what it says:
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
No doubt, one of the great joys of the Christian faith is the promise of an eternal home in heaven through Jesus Christ. It is right and good for us to ponder the glorious nature of heaven’s reward. That’s an exercise in looking forward.
But the word “now” in that verse means that faith in Jesus is not just a promise about our future, but it is also a promise about our present. There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
You see, we don’t have to wait until heaven to have our guilt removed. We also don’t have to wait until heaven to have our shame removed. There is now – right now – no condemnation. Eugene Peterson in “The Message” says it like this:
“Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud.”
I think the word “now” can begin a process of thanksgiving that will work its way into other areas of your life. The “low-lying black cloud” is not just pushed away by Jesus, it is removed altogether. And in the eyes of our Creator, that has happened now.
If you are unsure how faith in Jesus removes all condemnation, then please watch this short video.
Happy Thanksgiving, my friend.