‘Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; make music to our God on the harp.’ Psalm 147:7 (NIV)
Thanksgiving is not all about the Pilgrims. Well, the holiday is. But true Thanksgiving began a long, long time before the Pilgrims crossed over the seas. It began with God’s creation.
‘In the beginning…’ God created. Because of His creation, we have much to be thankful for. We are thankful that He is our God and we are His people. We are thankful that He is a covenant God, and will never, ever break a single promise that He has ever made to us. We are thankful that He sees our coming ins and our going outs. We are thankful that He knew us before we were in our mother’s womb. We are thankful.
I could go on and on. But the simple truth is that we have life, that life is given by a Holy God, and that same Holy God numbers our days, makes our paths straight, gives us wisdom, and allows us to breathe in and out, in and out, each and every day until it is the last day. He soothes us to sleep every night, and He wakes us up gently in the morning. And for all of this, yes, for all of this and for much more, He is to be praised.
We think of Thanksgiving as a time when Indians and Pilgrims came together and shared a meal. We think of the things from that very first Thanksgiving in America that we still associate with the holiday every year, such as turkey, corn, pumpkins. We think of celebration, and we think of fellowship.
There are many other things that have come from God’s creation, to the first Thanksgiving, to today that we must be grateful for, such as our families, our homes, our jobs, our friends, our churches. We have clothes to wear, and food to eat. We have entertainment choices, beautiful outdoor parks, walking paths, and roadways. We have exciting adventures to take here at home and abroad. We have a magnificent choice of things to do, to see, to experience. Yes, we should be very thankful indeed.
We have freedom of religion. Yes, it’s true, there are many today who are trying to take that from us, but we are still able to worship freely, whenever we want, wherever we want. We can gather together to read and study the Word of God, to pray, to do Kingdom business. We are free. What a wonderful thing!
Take time this Thanksgiving Day to not only enjoy a wonderful meal, maybe some football, and a good nap. Take time to strengthen relationships, in your family, friends, and church. Take time to touch someone who is lonely, maybe has no home, and perhaps no meal. Make a difference in someone’s life. Make Thanksgiving exactly what it should be…a day full of thankfulness to our loving Father.
He is Our Hope, and for this, and this alone, it is enough for which to be thankful.
‘We give thanks to You, O God, we give thanks, for Your Name is near; men tell of Your wonderful deeds.’ Psalm 75:1 (NIV)