by J. Randal Matheny
As an advisor to the presumed Republican presidential candidate John McCain, Phil Gramm took criticism from all sides last Wednesday when he called America “a nation of whiners.”
If ever there was a nation of whiners, it was Israel in the desert. Because of their grumbling, says the apostle Paul, they “were destroyed by the Destroyer” (1 Corinthians 10:10 ESV).
Nothing suited the Israelites. They tired of the manna raining down from heaven to feed them and wanted meat. They tired of marching behind Moses. They tired of a benevolent and patient God.
Will the church, as God’s people, be a nation of whiners?
Not if they eat from the Lord’s table, which reminds them of the price that was paid for their souls. Not if they drink the cup and remember the precious blood that gives them life. Not if they eat and drink until he comes, for gratitude will be infused into their hearts so deeply that suffering will be counted joy for the kingdom.
The remedy to whining is gratitude. And the Supper is an exercise in thanksgiving that expands that feeling toward the sacrifice of Christ.
“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful” (Colossians 3:15).
Rather than a nation of whiners, we will be, gathered around the Table, singers of thanksgiving with mouths full of praise to the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.