November 15, 2017
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
And all the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, singing,
“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom
and thanksgiving and honor
and power and might
be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”
Understand the Heart of Thanksgiving!
I’ve been reading about thanksgiving, and have recently come across some challenging examples of this from other cultures, that I want to share.
In Africa, there are several tribes that have remarkable ways of expressing their gratitude. In East Africa, the Masai tribe expresses thanks by placing their foreheads on the ground and saying, “My head is in the dirt.” Another African Tribe communicates gratitude by sitting for a long time in front of the hut of the individual whom they want to thank, saying, “I sit on the ground before you.”
These Africans understand that a core attitude of thanksgiving is humility, and their way of expressing it clearly represents that attitude. Our passage in Revelation reflects the same thing: angels, elders, and living creatures all fall on their faces in humility and gratitude to God for who He is.
I see a deep connection between thanksgiving and humility which, perhaps, is often overlooked. Thankful people recognize their need, and the generosity and beneficence of the Giver, and every truly grateful person is humbled by the amazing gifts he’s received from God. So I see that true humility will always be accompanied by gratitude, and also, that those who are truly grateful will be growing in the beautiful characteristic of humility. May it be so for us.