Two Thoughts on Thanksgiving

Written on

November 23, 2018

I can’t let today go by without putting my two cents out there on this holiday.

FIRST
Let’s be intentional about Who we are thanking on thanksgiving.

This day is not considered a religious or sacred holiday. American – yes. Motivated by faith – sadly no.

But the origins of the first thanksgiving were filled with celebrating the goodness of the God that had taken care of and provided for the pilgrims. It wasn’t a “high church” holiday and they probably weren’t concerned with starting an annual tradition. They were simply and intentionally thanking GOD.

Our public school teachers are not worried about the separation of church and state when they color copied turkeys or ask their students to write essays with the topic of what they are thankful for.

But when the atheist or the average non-Christ follower is thankful on Thanksgiving, who are they thanking?

As I watched “Dancing with The Stars Juniors” on Sunday night, I couldn’t help but wonder who the kids were thanking when they were interviewed. The theme of the night was “thanksgiving” and they were to tell (and dance in honor of) who they were thankful for. But who were they thanking?

On Mother’s Day we show appreciation to our moms, Father’s Day, our dads. We rightfully have Veteran’s Day to thank our Vets and Memorial Day to show appreciation for the soldiers who never made it home.

We don’t pick our parents, our nation of origin, our health or our IQ. As Christians, we know and need to acknowledge that it all comes from God.

We NEED a day where we stop and say “thank You” to the God who has given and sustains and upholds it all through His Son. Thanksgiving is the perfect time to simply and intentionally thank HIM for all He has given us, is currently providing for us and promises to bless us with in the future.

SECOND –

My second thought on this holiday is a natural out pouring of the first . . .

Some may say that Christmas decorations before the turkey dinner are premature and outta place. At least get the dishes washed and put away before dragging out the tinsel and the tree.

There was a time that I would have agreed whole-heartedly with that train of thought. Not anymore.

Our decorations were put up and out last weekend. Yes, I packed away the pumpkins and set out all my snowman friends. The trees are decorated the nativity sets are displayed.

Yes, there is less stress to our holiday season. The house decorating is crossed off the ever-growing “to-do” list. We had fun placing ornaments and now we are getting to enjoy the fruits of our labor a little longer in a season that seems to go by much too quickly….

But now, there is much more intention for me in the decorating before Thanksgiving Day.

I cannot think of a better way to begin celebrating the coming of Christ than in thanksgiving. With the house dressed for the festivities of the season, I am reminded everywhere I look of the most amazing gift God gave me -Jesus and I am SO thankful.

I want to be thankful all Christmas season long and into the New Year as well. This is the holiday spirit to me, a spirit of thankfulness and thanksgiving of everything it means to have Immanuel, God with us.

The same God I am thanking on Thanksgiving is the God whose birth we celebrate at Christmas.

With all the gatherings and parties – at work, at school, for work, with this side of the family and then with that side – it’s all about and for and through Him anyway . . . It’s only logical to decorate before we carve the turkey and begin a celebration that lasts 6 weeks at least.

Let Thanksgiving be the kickoff party for all the festivities to come with Christ as the central focus of it all. And if that is the goal then of course the Christmas decorations SHOULD be done in the middle of November.

When I started this post, I offered these thoughts as my “two cents.” I am not sure they are worth that much to you, but I felt that this is part of the whole purpose behind blogging – to share what I think about whatever. Well, these are just my two thoughts on Thanksgiving….

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