really just a day?
During the civil war, President Lincoln called for a national day of prayer to thank God for all His blessings to our land. Since that time America has set aside the fourth Thursday in November as our national day of thanksgiving.
While we still have Thanksgiving Day as a national holiday, the day raises some curious questions. The first is, “to whom are we thankful?” Most television viewing on Thanksgiving Day is of parades and football games. On those telecasts, the people involved in the events will talk about how thankful they are for what they have. But no one seems to ask, “thankful to who?” Since our society is determined to remove God from the public discourse, and to practice political correctness, we seem intent on being thankful to no one in particular. So thanksgiving is simply a day when we divert ourselves from the everyday aspects of our lives to acknowledge that we are blessed, but with no idea or interest in the source of those blessings. The next day we get back to business and wait another year to be thankful.
A Way of Life
The second question is, “is Thanksgiving simply a day?” For Christians the answer is “no.” Thanksgiving, for Christians, is a way of life. Faith calls Christians to see that God is the source of every blessing. We rejoice, not simply in what we have, but in the relationship we have with the one who has given us our blessings because of His love for us.
Many people are thankful without knowing who to be thankful to. We know God has blessed us with food, clothing, shelter, and all other daily needs. He has given us each gifts and abilities to use His blessings to bless family and neighbor. Most of all, He came here in the person of Jesus to die on the cross for our sins, and rose from the dead to give us victory over death. Christians recognize that all we are and have is a blessing from God.
How do we respond to these blessings? We give thanks. In thanks for Jesus, we share Him with others. In thanks for food, we feed our families, as well as the poor among us. We take the things we have received from God and use them to be a blessing to others as God has blessed us. The simplest aspects of our lives are opportunities to express our thanks to God for all He has done. Thanksgiving is more than just a day. It is a way of life.