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Thanksgiving and the Death of God

“God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche, “The Madman”

Those famous words came to my mind this week. They’re from the pen of Friedrich Nietzsche and spoken by his character, appropriately named “The Madman.” Nietzsche espoused a philosophy known as nihilism, though here he is critical of it. He was speaking of the danger a society faces when it loses higher morals and religion.

I was reminded of the “death of God” as I watched rioters in the streets. Terrorist beheadings. When I hear stories child trafficking around the world. Paul describes our world well: “…slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil…(Romans 1:30, NIV)

I think of the death of God at Thanksgiving. Stores move from Halloween paraphernalia to Christmas in a blink. Schools don’t teach about Pilgrims and take “Fall Breaks.” But why shouldn’t Thanksgiving be a forgotten holiday in America? After all, God is dead and we killed him. Who is there to thank? As the world speeds toward anarchy, what’s to be thankful for?

I’m happy to inform The Madman, though, that God is in fact NOT dead. He is alive and well. His throne of dominion in the universe remains occupied. He is alive and well and is working in the lives of those he loves. He’s working in my life as He is in yours.

There is Someone to thank. There is much for which to be thankful.

How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.  Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young— a place near your altar, O LORD Almighty, my King and my God. (Psalm 84:1-3, NIV)

Happy Thanksgiving!

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