In Dependence

Written by Anthony Douglas on 24 November 2017.

TurkeyIn the United States, the people have just marked another holiday with largely forgotten religious significance in their Thanksgiving celebrations. While these days it largely means roast turkey, football, and pumpkin pie, it originally was meant to be an opportunity to thank God for his provision through difficult times.

It is no great surprise that this sense is fading, because America explicitly favours independence rather than dependence. Freedom, liberty, and the Fourth of July. Yet we must not be smug, because they are merely being explicit about what human beings all prefer implicitly.

Since the days of Eden, we humans have wanted our independence, and since even before that, God has been teaching us that it’s a fool’s goal. Not only can we never achieve it; even if we could, it would not be what we imagined.

We are made to depend. We rely on one another in our homes, our towns, and our societies. More than this, we rely upon God, who sends the rain and keeps us breathing free of charge. This is why the Bible so emphasises prayer. It’s both a reminder and an expression of our dependence on a gracious God. We don’t just pray because we need things, nor even just in obedience. We pray because it is who we are, as created, dependent beings.

So rather than celebrate our independence one day each year, let’s celebrate our dependence every single day of the year. Let’s remember our loving Father, and not be the turkey who misses out on the wedding feast of the Lamb!   

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