Today in our society, Thanksgiving has become to mean a lot of things to different people. To some people, it means shopping, traveling, eating, reunion... While to others, it means watching football, shopping on Black Friday and the like. It has become synonymous with turkey and dressing, cranberry and pumpkin pie. What began as a day set aside to thank God for the many blessings has become instead a day of celebration, consumption, over-eating, overspending, regret and stress. Can you imagine the confusion?
What does Thanksgiving mean for Christians? Thanksgiving is a sign of gratitude for God’s goodness, love and grace in our life. Without these three, we would be nothing. Thanksgiving should prompt us to respond to God’s goodness, love and grace in a practical way that would please God. One thing we need to understand is that God did not provide us with the bounty we have so that we might selfishly waste and spend it. God has entrusted the goods and gifts that we have so that we might invest and share them with others that they might also know of God’s goodness, love and grace.
How do we do that? First, give back a small portion of your Thanksgiving spending to the church thanking God for His goodness in your life. That shows your gratitude and appreciation for what God has done for you in your life. Second, invite a lonely or hungry neighbor to share in your meal during Thanksgiving: that is an act of love of others. Jesus tells us to love our neighbors. Victor Hugo in his “Les Misérables”, he says, “You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving.” Third, break old family dysfunctions or grudges by forgiving relatives or someone in your life as we have been forgiven by God. They might not deserve your forgiveness and none of us deserves God’s forgiveness and that is grace. Friends, I urge you this November, let’s break with traditions and truly have a real Thanksgiving.
In His Service,