Last issue, I wrote to you about some interesting discoveries Erin and I made in our new home. Today, I have another such discovery to share with you. Unfortunately, this one is less touching—more a combination of sad, funny, and macabre.
While raking leaves,
This, in turn, brings to mind the death of my cat
It’s interesting how differently we assign value to things in our lives. I’m sure that Choo-Choo’s owner thanked God regularly for her little furry friend. Others barely notice the animals running around underfoot but are incredibly thankful for their snowblower or uncle or sewing circle. I’ve seen many a Thanksgiving Day celebration where everyone at the table is required to name something for which they are thankful before gorging themselves, and the items listed always cover the spectrum.
Besides being a great holiday, thanksgiving is an important biblical concept. How does the Bible define it? I find it mildly fun to look up topics like “love” and “grace” in Nelson’s Bible Dictionary. The wooden, passionless language always makes me smile. Here’s what Thomas Nelson has to say about thanksgiving: “ideally, thanksgiving should spring from a grateful heart; but it is required of all believers, regardless of their initial attitude.” This is true. We are mandated, “in everything, give thanks.” For Christians, it makes no sense to wait until the fourth Thursday of November to give thanks to God.
For us, thanksgiving should be a way of life. The Greek word for “thanksgiving” is eucharista. Obviously, this is where we get the word “eucharist.” The church has always associated thanksgiving with celebrating Christ’s death and resurrection. After all, the free gift of salvation is the greatest thing we could hope for; how can we help but give thanks? As Paul writes, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Cor 9:15) And growing out of that, the Christian finds reason for gratitude in all things...for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (I Thess 5:18).
So let's thank God daily for his innumerable blessings: for our salvation, for our church family, friends, and even Choo Choo the dog. Think of Thanksgiving Day, not as the one day a year set aside for giving thanks, but as the kick-off for yet another year of constantly thanking our Father in Heaven for sustaining us and showering us with blessings. For me, this is going to be a huge year in the thanksgiving department. I’ve got a new church, a new job, a new house. I’m thankful for all of these and I’m thankful for each of you!
Soli Deo Gloria,