Often times when we give thanks, we do so because we have received something useful, enjoyable, and meaningful. We give thanks before a meal, when we receive a gift, when we are forgiven, when we get a bonus, or when someone praises us. Our thanksgiving tends to be “after the fact” – a response of appreciation to something that has already happened.
In John 11, Jesus brings us to another level of thanksgiving. One of Jesus’ dearest friends, Lazarus, has been in the tomb for 4 days. In the midst of skepticism from the crowd of “mourners,” Lazarus’ sisters, and even His own disciples, Jesus maintained that Lazarus will rise again – seemingly putting His reputation, friendship, and the credibility of His ministry on the line. In the midst of all the commotions, emotions, expectations, and examinations, Jesus lifted up a most amazing thanksgiving.
Jesus gave thanks to the Father for always hearing Him, but what made this an amazing thanksgiving is in its timing. Jesus loudly declared the thank offering right after He committed to opening the tomb, but before any power manifestation, before any resurrection, before any Lazarus come hopping out to amaze everyone. Furthermore, Jesus declared that setting this standard of “before the fact” thanksgiving is for our benefit, so that we may live to His standard of faith – the faith of knowing that God works all things for the good. Just as Jesus demonstrated, we believe that this “before the fact” thanksgiving will be one of the keys to release our authority of shalom to minister to our increasing tumultuous world.
For MTC 2021, God has prepared 4 speakers and a group of panelists to lift us up in the faith of “before the fact” thanksgiving. Our speakers, all who are relatively young, will begin each afternoon session by sharing their stories of “before the fact” thanksgiving – testimonies of what they have gone through or are going through now. Afterwards, the panel of pastors, elders, and spiritual “moms and dads” will enrich the message with their insights, blessings, and spiritual covering.
This page (中文) shows the schedule updated with our speakers and panelists. Please pray for them, and do note that these arrangements are always subject to change as we strive to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.