Thanksgiving celebrations in Christendom have deep historical and spiritual roots. Even as far back as Moses; although Jewish, he was a founder of the faith that was to come in Christ, he directed the people of faith to give thanksgiving offerings as a remembrance of what God had done and was doing for them. Jesus encouraged thankfulness when he was with us in the flesh. The Pre-Roman Church, Roman Catholic Church, Anglican Church, and Protestants churches have all celebrated and continue to do so in one way or another or in some degree; albeit different days, weeks, and even months when celebrating some kind of thanksgiving.
Thinking of our National Holiday in America: In 1619, ship Margaret brought thirty-eight settlers to our shores. They paused from the excitation of finding the New World and established in their charter that an annual day of Thanksgiving to God should be kept. The settlers established a faith driven Thanksgiving tradition two years and 17 days before the faith hungry pilgrims arrived aboard the Mayflower at Plymouth Massachusetts who when arriving also paused and offered thanksgiving to God subsequently establishing a day of Thanksgiving.
This Thursday we will be sharing a Thanksgiving meal with family and friends. A prayer of thankfulness will likely be offered for the food and guests. As people of faith this is what we do. Yet, we could also pause for a few minutes by ourselves and thank God for the many blessings we have received; for even the least of what we have is greater than a vast majority of the citizenry of the world. Yet at the same time prayerfully keeping the less fortunate in mind. It would also be fitting to call a moratorium in regard to our religious differences and political leanings. We could welcome a day where we are only thankful for what we do have and not what we don’t have. And what is collectively right with us and not what is wrong with us. There will be other days to share our religious and political views.
On Thanksgiving Day we could pause and thank God for the life of faith; for the life of faith is a gift and there’s nothing for us to do but be thankful for it. We are members of a worldwide spiritual community that will one day be transformed into an eternal community. We are not a part of this community because we deserve it or earned it. Paul wrote that we have a life of faith by grace, through faith, not from ourselves; it is a gift from God. The Life of faith is a gift which merits a moment by ourselves; to pause and thank God for what He has done for us.
God Bless you and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!