Thanksgiving Article

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This week, I have heard two different sermons which mentioned that our culture seemed to be forgetting about Thanksgiving.

Wait, that’s not strictly accurate. I only heard one sermon that said that. I preached the other one.

Anyway, as I got to thinking about it on Monday morning, I began to wonder if it’s true. What if we haven’t forgotten about Thanksgiving?

For one thing, we’re talking about it now, aren’t we? Well, I’m writing about it and, as far as I can tell, you’re reading about it. So, there are at least two of us who have remembered Thanksgiving, right?

More than that, though, I got started thinking about what it is that makes me/us think Thanksgiving has been forgotten. Part of it is because the retailers started putting out their Christmas stock sometime in October. (Except Hallmark, who seem to put out their ornaments earlier every year until, some time in the not too distant future, they will have completely lapped themselves. I’m not complaining, mind you. I’m just going to need a second tree for all the Snoopy ornaments.)

But what happens when the retailers put out their Christmas stuff early? We hear people around us—and even ourselves, sometimes—grousing, “For crying out loud! It’s not even Thanksgiving, yet!”

What just happened there? We remembered Thanksgiving.

And what about football? For a lot of people, Thanksgiving is about football. If you’re a Cowboys fan, you may even plan your meal so as not to interfere with watching the game. If you’re a Lions fan, you may plan your meal so as to MAKE SURE it interferes with watching the game. (I’m going to go out on a limb here and, without going to all the trouble of looking up who the Lions are playing this Thursday, predict that they’ll break their streak of 9 consecutive Thanksgiving Day losses.) In Texas, Thanksgiving weekend used to mean watching the Aggies and Longhorns play football, but the Aggies chickened out on that deal, so maybe we can spend the time we would have spent on that in thankfulness.

And food? Is that a distraction? Maybe, but most of us stop for at least a moment and thank the Lord for the food we’re having. It may be just a moment, but it’s a moment well spent.

Maybe we don’t spend all day in quiet reflection, and maybe it would be a good thing if we did. Maybe we don’t do enough, but thinking that has led a lot of people to spending their Thanksgiving day serving in a soup kitchen or inviting a less fortunate neighbor in for a meal. Could we/should we do more of that? Yes. But praise the Lord for what gets done!

And that’s the key: praise the Lord. Thanksgiving day may be a time for thanking a relative who got you out of a jam in the last year, or a friend who stood beside you in some significant way. But more than anything, Thanksgiving Day is about thanking God. Not everyone will this Thursday, but I am convinced that every person—every family—that takes even a moment to thank God (on the 4th Thursday or any other day of the year) are the people who really keep this world going.

So, let me thank all of you who thank God, and let me wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!