As I was getting my chemo treatment recently, I asked my infusion nurse how she was going to celebrate Thanksgiving.
She immediately replied, “We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving Day, for we believe every day is a day for giving thanks.” I thought about what she said and I agreed with her.
Yet I think it’s beneficial for our family and as a nation to celebrate a special day to give thanks. Our country has so much. Two thirds of the world lives on $2.00 a day, the price of a coke for us Americans. Noel Piper comments in Treasuring God in our Traditions, “God is the reason we have anything to celebrate. He is the ultimate source of any of our celebrations.” p 65.
It’s a perfect time to take inventory of God’s abundant goodness to us. As the family gathers around the table loaded with all kinds of goodies (I love candied sweet potatoes and pecan pie) and as we feast and then gather around TVs for football, we need reminders of our origin and our purpose for living. And the blessings we review ought to be full of spiritual ones, such as an answer to prayer about a person who gossiped about you and you put into practice Matt 18. And God reconciled you.
As we prepare to thank the Lord for the bountiful feast before us, our family custom is to read Psalm 100 together (Psalm 95;1-7 is good, too), and during dinner, we share with one another God’s goodness to us through the year. An Asian family that had just moved to our city knew little or no English and no family to celebrate with. So we invited them to spend Thanksgiving Day with us and our two families transcended the language barrier as we laughed and talked, with the father of the family translating. It was a joyous occasion and after many years, we still keep in touch.
This Thanksgiving Day join us as we say in our hearts and on our lips, “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name” (Psalm 100:4).