It’s more than just Pilgrims and turkey, but an attitude that should underlay our lives. Brother Rich opened our family service this week with a reading from Colossians 2 verses 6 and 7. “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” As Paul noted, our thanks should be overflowing. Why? Because our blessings overflow.
In First Thessalonians 5: 16-18, Paul again exhorts, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you!”
As we find ourselves in circumstances we should rejoice and be thankful. Okay, sometimes bad things happen, but even these teach us, or make us stronger. The same family service also included a baby dedication. This clearly is a joyful thing, and thanking God for the new life, and the prospects that that life holds is a obvious thing. It is sad, however to note, that the parents of that wonderful little girl had had several earlier pregnancies, but this is their first surviving child. Fair to say, she is even more appreciated and brings so much joy and fulfillment.
After the service we had a congregational “thanksgiving” meal. This too is a point that we shared together not only God’s bounty, but fellowship and, because of the mixed nature of our church, cultural enrichment. Time with those who you hold dear, and who are called to the same purpose is something we should always give thanks for.
Thanks in adversity, however, is not easy. I recently lost my wife to cancer. Though I could be bitter or railed against God, it was not my first inclination. Instead, I have been thankful that she is no longer in pain, and I am thankful that I had so many years with a woman who loved me, cared for me, and framed so much of who I am. I can indeed “give thanks in all circumstances.”
As the American turkey day approaches, take a moment to give thanks for all you have, and all you have learned. Give thanks for this day that the Lord has made.