It is my prayer for you that Thanksgiving will be a time of celebration and thanksgiving. May you be surrounded by loved ones, warmth and good food. As Thanksgiving approaches, I want to remind you in this post that it was originally centered on God. Much of the culture has forgotten about God. Some would even revise history and erase God from our traditions. Our most important holidays are being overrun by commercialization and political sensitivity.
Historically, Thanksgiving wasn’t about giving thanks to the Indians or one another. It was primarily about giving thanks to God for His provision and care. The pilgrims were clearly thinking of God when they were celebrating the first Thanksgiving. Every year we have the opportunity to do the same.
Our church celebrates a time of Thanksgiving to God annually with a fellowship and meal. We pass the mic around and recall things that we are thankful for from the past year. It’s important. Thanksgiving to God will lead to greater contentment in all areas of your life, and it removes the self-centered entitlement that so easily creeps into our lives.
Moreover, Thanksgiving is a great teaching opportunity for your families. At our table we’re going to talk about the history of this country, about giving thanks, and about honoring God. It is our intention to raise our children with a culture of thankfulness.
But Thanksgiving should never be limited to one day a year. It is a reminder of the gratitude that should be in our hearts toward God all year round. But there is something special about Thanksgiving, isn’t there? It’s a time when normal responsibilities are laid aside (school, work) to be with family and celebrate. So why don’t we make the most of it this year and take some time to prepare for this holiday?
I plan to be very intentional this holiday season in leading my family and congregation in being thankful to God and remembering the rich history of this holiday. Let me share a few suggestions about how to foster a heart of thanksgiving this year and not let the season race by.
-Read through and respond to Psalm 100 or another Psalm of thanksgiving
-Do a word study on the word “thanks” in the Bible using a concordance
-In your prayer time with the Lord, make a habit of listing the things you are thankful for
When you invest time in becoming a thankful person before God, it will overflow into every area of your life and influence your friends and family.