I love the idea of Thanksgiving being a verb in addition to a noun. Even in this time of economic uncertainty, I see people sharing the human experiences, loving their families, working hard for their employer, and doing their best to look out for their neighbors. (Example: the massive response we have seen to flood relief efforts in our state.) Through pain and tough times, there is laughter and kindness and camaraderie. There is the desire to do better, to be more appreciative of what we’ve got, to share love and to spread joy. I thank God for this attitude of thanks giving/thanks living.
Why do we observe this Fall holiday each year? Certainly not because we need an excuse for gluttony (“gobble ‘till you waddle”) or because it signals the beginning of the Christmas season. The Thanksgiving holiday can easily degenerate into a hollow-day if we do not know Who or why to thank. In returning to God our thanksgiving, we acknowledge that life, food, and indeed all our blessings come from the hands of a gracious God.
God doesn’t need our thanksgiving, but we need to thank! “How can I repay the Lord for all His goodness to me?” (Psalm 116:12) We need the annual reminder that we have been entrusted with much. We need the annual reminder that God expects from us wisdom in allocating the bounty of this earth and compassion in caring for others. Gratitude naturally leads to such stewardship of life, to a thanks giving life.
Happy Thanks Giving Everyone!
Polly Wegner, DCE