Reflections on Thanksgiving
In November 1621, a group of people in the new world gathered to give thanks because they survived another year in what would go on to become the greatest nation on earth. Amidst starvation, bitter cold, sickness, lack of needed supplies, and separation from family left in England, the pilgrims gave thanks for a bountiful harvest.
They had much to be thankful for, just as we have much to be thankful for some 400 years later.
The writer of Psalm 100 tells us to “enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise”. It is a joyous thought that all believers in Jesus will one day enter the courts of heaven.
What thanks will you give when you step into the gates of heaven seeing the golden streets? Will you look at God seated on his throne and then focus on your house, your car, your family? As important as they are, these things will take a back seat to your new vantage point of God.
When we see God’s perfection, we start to understand, at least to some degree, more than we now see, his wisdom, knowledge and power. What we considered so great on this earth will mean very little.
We are called to be thankful with our earthly possessions, but I believe it is even more important to be grateful for what God has done for us.
Consider for a moment that, because of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection, we can have our sins forgiven. No work is involved in receiving this wonderful gift. Paul said our salvation is a gift from God, not by any work we can do. This should give us pause for gratefulness.
We give thanks that we have the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth, to comfort us in whatever situation we are facing, to help us understand what may not make logical sense.
This Thanksgiving take a few minutes to give thanks for your salvation, for the love of God that is extended to all, for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in all things, for our God who is watching over you every day. Give thanks that God never grows tired, he never needs a nap, he never says, “I am sick today; you take care of yourself.”
Have a great thanksgiving giving thanks for what is most important.