I always love the Thanksgiving holiday, because it’s probably the most Christian holiday of the year. You might think the most Christian holidays of the year would be Christmas and Easter, but they were originally pagan ritual days that the Catholics of the distant past tried to infuse with Christian meaning. Of course, in modern times, the pagan meanings are the obscure ones and the Christian meanings are the ones recognized by everyone. Still, no one set out to create Christmas and Easter as holidays: they just took over some pagan holidays and “re-interpreted” them. Kind of gives them a designed-by-committee feel.
Thanksgiving is a simple holiday, but a sincere one. Just a day to recognize the blessings we enjoy, and give thanks to God for them.
Thanksgiving is an essential part of the Christian’s life of the heart. We’re told, “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
We don’t always come to Thanksgiving with the feeling that things are going great and that we have so much to be thankful for. Many times, I’ve had bad times or misfortunes to happen uncomfortably close to the Thanksgiving holiday. But we’re not told to be thankful to God in every good thing. We’re told to be thankful in every thing.
Sometimes, we look at our problems and worries, and giving thanks is the last thing on our minds. But beyond whatever is on our hearts and minds at that moment, we still have good things happening to us and for us. But it’s when things are not going so great that we really most need to be thankful.
All too often, when our health is bad, we forget to be thankful for our families. Or when finances are squeezing us, we forget about the blessings of friends, or good health, or the promise of better times in the future. And sometimes when nothing seems to be going well, we forget to be thankful that we still have hope for tomorrow, and that many of our worst problems are actually temporary.
May this Thanksgiving remind all believers to be thankful to God.
Two thoughts from Scripture to end on:
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. — James 1:17
Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift — 2 Cor 9:15