This year, Thanksgiving, as with everything else, must be altered, not eliminated, but altered. Regardless of how we celebrate, face to face with the whole of our family, or with the family we reside with, or on Zoom, it’s important that we pause and concentrate on how we have been blessed.
While the first Thanksgiving, said to have taken place in 1621 between the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Native Americans, wasn’t necessarily a Christian event, they recognized the fact that they were blessed. They not only recognized it, but thought it worth a celebration. Their first harvest was plentiful, so they decided to prepare an autumn harvest feast to enjoy it and to fellowship with one another. Since 1863 it has been recognized as a national holiday. (History.com)
For most, 2020 was not what we expected when we set our goals, but we still have much for which we should be thanking God. We can all start by thanking God for waking us up this morning. It wasn’t a guarantee that you would even still be alive. We know the statistics and we likely know someone who has died this year. I have attended quite a few funerals this year, and it makes me realize just how precious life is. Being alive is a great blessing we shouldn’t take for granted.
I was talking with someone last week about how blessed we are to have the fall colors to enjoy. We both remarked how God didn’t have to create the trees such that they would change colors, He could have just made them as green sticks sticking out of the ground that all looked alike, didn’t sway with the wind and didn’t change color, just green, the exact same shade all year round. We are blessed that God thought of the details. They give us something to draw our attention away from politics, the pandemic, work, and personal problems.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise — the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
There are many scriptures about being thankful or grateful to God for His many blessings, these are just a few. Our prayers should always begin with praise, which is our acknowledgement of God’s goodness. It’s easy to make requests, but we must be intentional about looking at our many blessings and thanking the Lord for them. Blessings come in many different forms, they are not purely materialistic. We must thank Him for our family, our health, their health, thank Him for our present state of mind, thank Him for giving us His Word that we can read and study for ourselves that we don’t have to just listen to others, but we can study it for ourselves. This year, your Thanksgiving fellowship should be a little smaller, it may be a cookout, or it may be a virtual Thanksgiving, but do give thanks! In the words of the Apostle Paul, we must always remember, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:24-25)
I am grateful that you read this week’s message.