Serving with love on Thanksgiving

For Thanksgiving 2014 Christian Science Bible Lesson

First appeared as a Web Original on October 6, 2014.

Several countries have a national holiday called “Thanksgiving” in which families, friends, and communities pause to give thanks to God and to share their bounty with those in need.  But “Thanksgiving,” the title of this Bible Lesson, goes beyond those sentiments.  It expresses gratitude for Love’s bestowals not just in terms of material blessings but for the spiritual growth and progress available to all.

A key biblical model for giving is found in Second  Corinthians 9:7: “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver” (Responsive Reading). Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy adds a significant guarantee: “Giving does not impoverish us in the service of our Maker, neither does withholding enrich us” (p. 79, citation 1). This Lesson has several examples of giving and withholding. It’s interesting to note how the blesser becomes blessed and to see powerful yet thoughtful men—Boaz and David—each praising a woman of action for her selfless giving.

The story of Ruth and Boaz is a beautiful illustration of giving in obedience to the command in Deuteronomy: “Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land” (15:11, cit. 1). Ruth was a blessing of love and support to her mother-in-law, Naomi. Her unselfish hard work was noticed by the landowner Boaz, who responded to her with kindness and generosity (see Ruth 2, cit. 3).   

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