By Pastor Wes Poole
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. NRSV
Thanksgiving. What is it all about? Well certainly we Americans think of Thanksgiving as a national holiday celebrated by many different people of many different creeds…or no creed at all. Prosperity, plenty, food on the table, personal freedoms, political stability; all these things and many more could be listed, quite justifiably, as things for which we, as Americans, can be thankful. For many of us, Thanksgiving simply means being grateful for our homes and our enlightened system of government that allows us to achieve such an opulent lifestyle…for it is indeed opulent by world standards. This year, our beloved national holiday is taking on a new and different tone, or rather rediscovering an old one. Many of us are paying closer attention to the deeper blessings God has given us. The reasons for this are obvious. Even though COVID may have kept us at home more than we have been used to in the past, there has been a renewed focus on families pulling together and relying on each other. The celebration of Thanksgiving is really all about home, family, and faith, even during trying times. We’ve also seen people across the country coming together to share the burdens these trying times have created for all of us. Difficult times still can bring out the best in people. For me, that is one of the most compelling reasons to give thanks this year.
For the Christian, giving thanks also means looking past the secular aspect of Thanksgiving and acknowledging God as the author and source of all that is good in our lives. Family, friends, home, and livelihood; all of these things oblige us, as believers, to give God the wholehearted thanks the psalmist illustrates for us above. When we name the Name of the Most High God in prayer, praise, or celebration, we offer all that we are and have to be used as God’s instruments of peace in His Creation. As we approach, once again, our national day of Thanksgiving, I pray that we will continue to place our thanks in the hands of the One to whom it truly belongs. God is the author of all goodness, and there are good times yet to come. Not even COVID can stop that. Let us recommit to giving thanks for what God has done, is doing, and promises yet to do!
May the power of Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit inspire us all to give thanks for God’s blessings by being a blessing to all our brothers and sisters everywhere.
Let us pray…
Heavenly Father, we offer you our most heartfelt thanks for all that you have given us. As we pause, as a nation, to give thanks for our manifold blessings, help us, as the modern day disciples of Jesus, to continue to do good works in our communities. May our lives give others even more reason to be thankful. We ask these things in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Be well, be kind, be safe, and be thankful!
Your partner in Christ,
Pastor Wes †