Brothers and sisters in Christ,
Can you believe it? Thanksgiving is next Thursday. Actually, I like the holiday of Thanksgiving a little bit better than Christmas. I hope you do not brand me a heretic for saying that. Of course, the coming of Jesus Christ as the Babe of Bethlehem, and our Savior is unparalleled in its importance to our salvation. Without his coming, there would be no forgiveness, and no hope of eternal life with God.
I like Thanksgiving because it seems more simple to me than Christmas--uncluttered, pure, and enjoyable. The meaning doesn’t get lost as does the meaning of Christmas. It is pure and simple the reminder that God has blessed us not because we deserve it, but because he is good and he loves us.
I encourage you to think of 30 blessings before you sit down to your feast. Don’t cheat by putting every individual child, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, cousin, etc. as a separate item. Lump them together under family. Same with friends. The first 10 items on your list will be the obvious things. But the 2nd 10 items will take more thought. And the 3rd 10 will take deep thought—not because their unimportant, but because we tend to overlook the subtle and spiritual blessings.
So, let me offer a few suggestions of things to thank God for which you might have missed:
- Good health
- Long years
- One more day of life
- Having work you enjoy
- Having the strength to work
- Having your wits about you
- God’s gift of Jesus Christ
- Past answered prayers, including small and large miracles
- America, land of freedom and opportunity
- Living in a safe neighborhood
- Having been given a good education
- Returning from war
- Being able to worship freely without persecution
- The amazing colors, textures, and sounds of God’s creation
- Your five senses—sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste
This Thanksgiving, be specific about why you’re thankful—try the “30 blessings” exercise. I guarantee it would enrich your holiday. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. “Be thankful and bless His name.” --Psalm 100
Ken Shick, Interim Pastor