Archive for November, 2013

November 1, 2013

Thanksgiving (November)

Thanksgiving is bursting from the pages of Scripture! From Genesis to Revelation, we see people thanking God. Psalm 107 and 118 are wonderful psalms of thanksgiving, each beginning with, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever!” Our Christian lives are infused with thanksgiving. Perhaps in our morning prayers or a prayer before bed (Psalm 119:62). Most likely a prayer of thanksgiving for our food (Matthew 26:26-27). When we share what God has done for us, thanksgiving is usually the next words we utter (Psalm 9:1). Thanksgiving is so central to our faith that one of the names for the Lord’s Supper that Christians have used throughout the centuries, Eucharist, literally means thanksgiving. The Lord’s Supper is a thanksgiving meal!

The United States also remembers and commemorates a thanksgiving meal, one shared by Native Americans and European colonists many years ago. The colonists struggled to settle on this land as foreigners. If it wasn’t for the kindness of the Native Americans, they may not have survived the winter. In thanksgiving for their new friends and God, the colonists and Native Americans, tradition holds, celebrated with a great meal. We will soon commemorate this great meal on Thanksgiving Day. Perhaps as we enjoy turkey and cranberry sauce and stuffing we will go around the table sharing our thanks to one another.

But perhaps there is another way we can commemorate that great meal. Many families across the country continue to struggle even to put food on the table. Many of these families, like the original colonists are foreigners, perhaps spending their first winter in this this strange new land we call North Carolina. We can be Native Americans to them! We can become friends to them and provide a means for them to celebrate Thanksgiving.

God encourages us to make our thanksgiving tangible. We do not just give thanks with our mouths but also with our hands. We read, “I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the Lord (Psalm 116:17).” Make your thanksgiving to God this season tangible. Share your blessings with others as the Native Americans did so long ago. Make this season one where you and others will look back on for years to come and give thanks.

In Christ,

Pastor Rich