Thanksgiving is next Thursday. Thanksgiving is the day our forefathers set apart to give thanks for the many blessings they received in this land. About 400 years ago, on that cool autumn day in Massachusetts, the Pilgrims had many things to fear including many trials and tribulations. They had just landed in a foreign land to form a small settlement in the wilderness. You could imagine the anxiety and angst that they must have felt.
Nonetheless, they were able to see many blessings. They had left a land in which they could not worship as freely as they wished. Here, in this foreign land, although hardship was all around them, it seemed less significant than the opportunity to worship God in the way they saw fit. And as they celebrated their first harvest, they remembered their gracious God and gave thanks to Him. Little did they know, since that day, the people of this land would set apart a day in November to offer thanksgiving and praise in response to God’s providential care. In our time and for many, thanksgiving is a civil holiday, time to be with family, to have turkey dinner, and to go shopping for sales, not necessary a day of religious observance as it was with our forebears.
However, being people of faith, as we begin to think of Thanksgiving, I hope that you continue to take the time to see the many ways God’s presence is in your lives as you have been doing every day throughout the year. I hope that neither the busyness in preparing for this day, nor the lonesomeness, nor the disappointments caused by trials and tribulations of life, is able to take away from you the confidence that God, “who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6) And so let’s be in gratitude for all the things we have been given and give thanks and praise to God.
I hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving holiday.
See you in worship on Sunday.