Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. The coziness of gathering with family; the fire crackling in the fireplace; and the delicious aroma of good things coming out of the oven.
As a Christian, the depth of meaning I find in a holiday devoted to being grateful ( actually, Thanksgiving began as a time dedicated to prayer before they shared the first feast with the Wampanoag) makes it all the more precious. Not only is it a sweet time with loved ones; it is an opportunity to reflect on the many, many blessings God has bestowed on us in this country, and, infinitely more, as believers.
We enjoy even the freedom to worship God because of the risk and sacrifice of the faith-filled men and women who came before us. Surely God was with them, even as they celebrated that very first harvest and hope of survival in this New World sparked within them. Because of people willing to stand for the moral authority of God’s word, America was founded on the beautiful principles of Christian liberty; freedoms we sadly sometimes take for granted today.
There’s a trend lately to trash our country and focus on only the sins of eras gone by. While we can and should acknowledge history as it happened, we must also acknowledge that there is no perfect country because there are no perfect people. In fact, much evil has happened and will continue to happen because there is much evil in the hearts of men. However, we do ourselves and God a disservice when we stay stuck on the bad and refuse to rejoice in the goodness and provision of the Lord. God, in his mercy, calls us to reconciliation and restoration, not continuous blaming and shaming. That’s what the devil does. So let’s honor God and thank him for all the good and beautiful things he has given us freely; most importantly the gift of salvation through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.
There is much that is hard in this world. There always will be. But there is also much to be thankful for, and pie is on that list. And stuffing. And mashed potatoes. And not living under communism…
Happy Thanksgiving, friends! I pray your time with the people you love is blessed and that your hearts (and stomachs) are so, so full.