Thanksgiving Shapes Us in More than One Way

Today is the day in the United States when we set aside to give thanks and reflect on all the Lord has done in our lives over this past year.

Other countries, like Canada and Ukraine also have national holidays dedicated to giving thanks, but days of thanksgiving have a rich history in Christian groups all over the world, going back before the pilgrims held their famous thanksgiving feast in Plymouth.

In the Old Testament, God instructed his people to hold several days of thanksgiving every year: Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread in early Spring, thanking God for delivering them from slavery and for the beginning of the barley harvest; the Feast of Weeks in early Summer, thanking God for the beginning of the wheat harvest; and the Feast of Tabernacles in the Fall, thanking God for the end of the harvest season. God told them to “Be joyful at your festival…because the Lord your God will bless you” (Deuteronomy 16:14-15).

For us as Christians, Thanksgiving is not only a day we celebrate, but a way of life. Colossians 2:6-7 says: : “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”

Thanksgiving Shapes Us

Spending time reflecting on what God has done for us and giving thanks not only honors Him, it also shapes us. The Thanksgiving meal obviously shapes us into certain kinds of people: slightly rounded than we were before! But the practice of giving thanks also shapes us: the more we give thanks, the more our eyes are opened to see the things God is doing and has done – which builds our faith and trust in Him!

Wishing you a blessed Thanksgiving!

Obligatory Post Bemoaning Black Friday

As a pastor, there are a few things you are expected to blog about at Thanksgiving:

  • Thanksgiving is the best holiday ever.
  • Black Friday is the worst thing that has ever happened, ever. It is the epitome of American consumerism encroaching on family.

This week, the Longmont Times-Call ran an article about a woman who is heading up an initiative to take turkey sandwiches to employees of businesses that are open for sales on Thanksgiving day. Nice, right? Well, the lady heading it up also mentions in the article that she is planning to take her family out to eat at a restaurant on Thanksgiving day, so they can spend time together rather than spending the day cooking. Um… is she the only one who doesn’t see the irony in that? In the comments section, she claims that the difference is that retail workers ‘have to be there on Thanksgiving even though they would rather be with their families.’ I guess the restaurant workers are at work by choice on Thanksgiving day…and wouldn’t rather be home with their families?

Here’s my take on Black Friday – sales are awesome. But we should limit this whole thing to the internet. That way everyone can stay home with their families, and we can all get great prices on stuff without having to leave the house or wait in line in the cold at night. I think it would be a win-win.

Hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. (Psalm 9:1)

In case I forgot to mention it: Thanksgiving is the best holiday ever.