1. The flip side of this is a warning that failure to give thanks leads to disaster
In the Deuteronomy Reading (8.7-20) Moses is reminding the Israelites of how God has made a covenant with them. God has promised to give them protection, good land and prosperity. They are reminded of the powerful and miraculous things God has done for them. They are warned to not become proud and forget their God. Being human, this is of course what happened over the centuries. In the Old Testament Isaiah describes the long period of apostasy when Kings and clergy forgot their part of the covenant. The official reading from the Common Lectionary stops at verse 18. The next two verses are very sensitive, particularly in our time of conflict in Palestine. In verses 19 and 20 the Israelites are warned that “If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods...you will surely be destroyed. Like the nations the Lord destroyed before you...” Moslems and Christian Palestinians obviously interpret this as negating the territorial claims of modern Israel. Failing to give thanks has consequences
2. The Great Thanksgiving celebrates our personal spiritual harvest
The Great Thanksgiving is the heart of the Eucharist. It is like Deuteronomy in summarizing a history of all the good things God has done for us, culminating in the gift of forgiveness through Jesus and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. It is the New Covenant of Jesus which we renew each time we say ‘amen’ at the end of the prayer. This is why participation in the Eucharist –‘celebration’ is so important. By showing up and affirming our Faith we are giving thanks. The consequence is a harvest of righteousness and blessing as the Holy Spirit pours out more blessings on us. God dwells in His praises so the act of giving thanks somehow opens a doorway for healing and spiritual blessings to flow into our souls. Righteousness means being in right relationship. One of the best and easiest ways of staying in right relationship with someone is to say thanks at appropriate times. This acknowledges, confirms and builds up the relationship.