Vol.X No.VI Pg.1
August 1973

Thanking God -- Really

Robert F. Turner

It is not uncommon to hear small children confuse "Thank you" and "You are welcome" -- sometimes asking which is which -- and I suppose it is to be expected that beginners in public service will also get confused. But it seems that after a few years of practice grown men should be able to "Thank God" for the Lord's Supper.

Jesus "took bread, and blessed it, ...And he took the cup, and gave thanks" (MAT.26:26-27, MAR.14:22-23); "And he took bread and gave thanks... Likewise also the cup" (LUK.22:19-20) "Took bread, and when he had given thanks, he brake it....After the same manner also he took the cup" (1CO.11:24-25). Is there any lack of clarity in this information and instruction? The "blessing" and the "giving thanks" amount to the same thing, as seen by a comparison of all passages. In any event, if Christ "blessed" in any efficacious sense, we could do no more than give Him thanks for it. Are we not united in the knowledge that we should "give thanks" for the bread and for the fruit of the vine?

Then why do so many fail to do it? Listen carefully to the wording of prayers at the Lord's table. We ask God to "make us worthy" or "aware of the significance" or "help us partake in a worthy manner" or even "forgive us of our sins as we partake" (and some may attach an unscriptural significance regarding forgiveness) but more and more frequently I listen in vain for "Thank you for this bread".

The problem is not lack of knowledge, but lapse of attention -- and that is why this article is on the front page. We urge you to enter into worship with a prepared mind and to sing, pray, etc., purposefully. How else can our worship be sincere? How else, indeed, can it be worship?

This is not a plea for a particular "formula" or memorized prayer. We do suggest that before you pick up that plate you say to yourself, "I was helplessly lost in sin, but Jesus died for me". Then look at that bread and fruit of the vine as the body and blood of your Savior, a memorial of His sacrifice, and I think you will have no difficulty in praying, "Oh, thank you Lord, thank you".