I’ve been thinking about Thanksgiving a lot lately. Not the decorations or how to get ready for Turkey day but the way this Thanksgiving feels. To be honest, it feels a little, well less! When you really get down to it our whole world feels a little less. Let’s talk about being thankful THIS Thanksgiving.
I think hosting Thanksgiving is the most work intense, tiring, hardest meal of the year to pull off! There, I said it!
And maybe I said it for all of us who host Thanksgiving year after year!
There have been years in the past that I have worked myself into total exhaustion to put together a magical-Martha-Stewart-type-Thanksgiving. So, by the time my family and friends sat down to dinner I wanted to say, “Have a great dinner and remember to clean up after yourselves I’M GOING TO BED”!
Can anyone relate?
I long for feeling that way now! But this year, Thanksgiving will be a lot more quiet! A lot less full. Just a lot less.
Do you feel it too?
So today, I would like to gently and lovingly remind you, and especially ME, of the purpose for Thanksgiving and the attitude that will help us celebrate in the true spirit of the holiday!
The word THANKSGIVING says it all!
ENTER HIS GATES WITH THANKSGIVING AND HIS COURTS WITH PRAISE; GIVE THANKS TO HIM AND PRAISE HIS NAME. Psalm 100:4
To understand the true meaning of Thanksgiving let’s look at the Hebraic roots of the word.
The word Thanksgiving in Hebrew is yadah.
The root of this word is yad (yawd). Yad literally means “hand”.
And it carries the beautiful idea “to throw or to cast”.
I like to think of giving thanks this way.
It’s like throwing up our hands full of words of praise and good things and casting them up to the Lord. Out of the very ends of our uplifted fingertips comes rays of praise and thanksgiving for our great God!
What a pretty picture of thanksgiving, right?
The Pilgrims got it so right. They had suffered almost unspeakable hardship coming to and settling in America. Yet, in 1621 the rag-tag group put together a feast along with local Indians who had befriended them to give thanks to God for the first good harvest!
The harvest was the very essence of their survival! And they recognized the Source of their bounty.
I know the real meaning of Thanksgiving gets hidden in parades and big balloon characters and football games and preparations and stuffing all too well. And I’m not trying to be a fun-sucker!
But if we really want to celebrate THANKSGIVING this year, don’t you think we need to purpose beforehand?
What I mean is if we sincerely want this to be a day of giving thanks to God we should make a conscious and purposeful effort to MAKE IT A DAY OF THANKS.
We need to put God first or Thanksgiving Day. If not we might feel just a little cheated! A little less! And honestly for me, a little sad!
When you think of it, we have had a Pilgrim year, haven’t we? For many of us, it’s been a hard year! A year like no other. I think everyone will be glad to see 2020 scoot on out of our lives and take all the trouble with it!
But remember why we celebrate Thanksgiving? The Pilgrims, in spite of their hardships, took time to remember their blessings! And they were many.
They counted their blessing and gave thanks to the Source.
Even in the worst of times, we are blessed beyond measure! We don’t have less!
God’s benevolent goodness flows to us unceasing in this broken world.
I feel so much better being reminded of my blessings. And when I focus my attention on my Father, the Giver of everything, my heart becomes light and filled with thanks!
FOR FROM HIM AND THROUGH HIM AND FOR HIM ARE ALL THINGS MADE. TO HIM BE THE GLORY FOREVER! AMEN. Rom 11:36
I love this translation the Amplified Bible…
FOR OUT OF HIS FULLNESS (THE SUPERABUNDANCE OF HIS GRACE AND TRUTH) WE HAVE ALL RECEIVED GRACE UPON GRACE (SPIRITUAL BLESSING UPON SPIRITUAL BLESSING, FAVOR UPON FAVOR, AND GIFT HEAPED UPON GIFT). John 1:16
Now, that is truth! The truth is not how I feel. Feelings are fickle. Truth and grace and blessings are real!
When we focus on God and His great love and mercy and grace towards us we don’t have less this Thanksgiving. We have more! Because God is a “more than” God!
Here’s my challenge for you today. Would you make God the center of your Thanksgiving celebration this year?
Let’s make God the very center of our day in all we do and say and think and act!
Would you give Him thanks all day through close communion with Him and in acts of service and love to those around you?
Spend time with God on Thanksgiving. Thank Him and praise Him for all He is and all He has done for you!
Throw your hands up releasing handfuls of thankful words and thoughts and spread your fingers wide apart and let those beam of thanksgiving rise up to your Father of light in thanksgiving for His grace upon grace towards you!
AND WHATEVER YOU DO, WHETHER IN WORD OR DEED, DO IT ALL IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS. 1 Thessalonians 5:18