Happy Thanksgiving, dear Reader.
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, one of my favorite times of year. I love Thanksgiving because of all it represents: not just a day to remember that very first Thanksgiving and a coming together of the Indians and the Pilgrims there in Plymouth. Not just a day to remember the end of the Civil War. Not just a day to be grateful for whatever good gifts we have. But also a day to just set aside and be thankful. No matter what the circumstances. Sometimes thankfulness isn’t easy, sometimes it comes with a great wrenching pain and many tears. And yet, that very same spirit of gratitude that can seem so elusive is often exactly what is needed to bring us out of the murk that threatens to overwhelm us.
And, as Christians, let us not forget that we are not just thankful randomly. We have One whom we can thank. One to whom we owe thanksgiving. Will you join me, today, tomorrow, and every day, practicing a thankful heart? Even when it’s hard? Perhaps we can shine a light with a humble attitude of praise and thanks. Perhaps we begin by shining that light into our own hearts.
Wealth and honor come from you;
you are the ruler of all things.
In your hands are strength and power
to exalt and give strength to all.
Now, our God, we give you thanks,
and praise your glorious name.
1 Chronicles 29:12-13
Let the trees of the forest sing,
let them sing for joy before the Lord,
for he comes to judge the earth.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
Cry out, “Save us, God our Savior;
gather us and deliver us from the nations,
that we may give thanks to your holy name,
and glory in your praise.”
1 Chronicles 16:33-35
Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song.
For the Lord is the great God,
the great King above all gods.
Psalm 95: 1-3
It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:13-18
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:12-18
Give thanks. Amen.