Aren’t you glad it is Thanksgiving? I mean, if we jump back a couple hundred years we wouldn’t have NFL football, the Macy’s Parade, or Black Friday. If we were celebrating Thanksgiving in the 16th century (reported to have been the earliest evidence of the occasion being celebrated in St. Augustine, Florida) or in the 19th century (when the holiday began to be regularly celebrated on the 4th Thursday of November in the US) we might not have had so many distractions, and would have had less, so we would be more thankful. The Encyclopedia Britannica claims that the Turkey Day in the US and Canada is secular in nature today although it has “religious origins”. I suspect that they are correct. I don’t like it but I am not naïve. I am aware of the many distractions that can hinder people from the “thankful” part of Thanksgiving and the “who are we thankful to” part of Thanksgiving. I am aware of the “curse of the abundance” that can make us feel self-sufficient and less willing to recognize Divine Sovereignty. I am aware that the world has no interest in recognizing the Almighty but reserves greater admiration for parades that end with Santa, Lions and Cowboys on the gridiron, and contributing to retail financial health.
But we are in the world but not of this world. Which means we are thankful to the Creator of all things, the Sustainer of life and the Giver of all good gifts while rooting on our favorite team, seeing floating Snoopy and waking up at 2am for “the deal that will never be here ever again”. We are a peculiar people. We choose to not just recognize but to adore and express our gratitude toward God.
So I thank God for Thanksgiving. You and I join a long line of believers through the centuries who are caused to pause for a day and reflect on His goodness. We then join a great cloud of witnesses each Sunday celebrating a “mini-thanksgiving” (minus the cranberry sauce and football and turkey-induced nap). Finally, we can wake each morning like many that have gone before us and like many around the globe today with gratitude in our hearts and thanksgiving on our lips!
Happy Thanksgiving everybody! Scream at the TV for your team, clap for the 3-story Barney in Manhattan, shop till you drop and all the while give thanks to God for all things!