2007-11-22 - Thanksgiving
In the USA (and some other countries), this is the time of year when we take inventory of all the things for which we are grateful. I realize that for some, Thanksgiving is not a happy season, because of the treatment of Native Americans hundreds of years ago. I share the sadness over that, as well as appreciation for the many agencies and churches that are helping Native Americans now with everything from employment training to drug and alcohol counseling and suicide prevention.
But as the Apostle Paul taught us, our heart is the most important factor, when it comes to celebrations. If our heart is in the right place, God will honor it, and that includes Thanksgiving. Just as with any holiday, it is whatever we make of it in our hearts and lives. Besides, according to the historical notes of Governor William Bradford, the day was actually a day of thanksgiving for much-needed rain (sounds familiar to many of us). And in fact, the act of thanksgiving itself is actually not only encouraged by the Bible - but mandated. So a special emphasis on this must be pleasing to our Heavenly Father.
My mother taught me well when I was a youngster; every gift was to be acknowledged with a handwritten thank-you note. She kept after me until it was "done deal." Now I'm among those adults who are just amazed at how ungrateful and presumptuous that some people seem, never bothering to utter the words "thank you," much less writing a note!
I was reminded in a recent sermon, of "thank you notes" past and present. The pastor ably pointed out that when we are writing one, we are in essence expressing thanks for the person behind the gift or service.
During this Thanksgiving season, I challenge each of us (including myself) to write a very special thank-you note or letter - to the ultimate gift-giver, God. I would love to read yours,if you care to share them. If we receive enough, we will publish them later as a devotional.