The days are shorter, the nights are longer. The autumnal sun dances through the colored leaves – it’s as though God had this in mind all summer long.
It is right, and quite natural, for us to feel a certain thankfulness for all the blessings that come our way – especially at this time of year.
Thanksgiving is one of the most universal of holidays. And, as you may have heard me say before, it may also be one of the most Christian.
Locked behind cell doors, Paul admonished his new Christian followers to be thankful in all things.
For us Christians, thanksgiving is a calling.
It is an attribute of the life we seek to live.
It is a definition of a way of seeing ourselves in relation to our God who created us, redeems us, and sustains us through the trials and tribulations that have a way of showing up on our life-journey.
Notice, the Ten Commandments do not start with “Thou shalt not…”
But, rather with, “I am the Lord God, who brought you out of Egypt, therefore . . .”
The entire Mosaic Law is to be followed as an act of thanksgiving. The basic understanding is that because God is God and enables marvelous things to happen and continues to be involved in my life and in the world around me, therefore, I can do nothing other than live in gratitude.
We Christians live in thanksgiving for what God has done and continues to do for us.
For us, thanksgiving is really thanks-living.
The Psalmist could sing: This is a day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it! Greeting each day with thanks for another chance to live and to love is a very Christian thing to do.
It is not without merit that many writers refer to ingratitude as the most basest of sins.
Even Shakespeare could write:
I hate ingratitude more than lying, vainness, babbling, drunkenness, or taint of vice.
Thanksgiving reminds us of how much we owe to forces outside of ourselves.
It behooves us to take an inventory of our blessings and offer up thanks in all things.
This year, expand your thanksgiving thoughts to thoughts about thanks-living.