Thanksgiving

John 1:29  The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

I thought it might be interesting to look up the history of Thanksgiving, so I started reading and out of all the things I read, there were two things that stuck in my thoughts. The first one was that the original day which was celebrated in 1621 was not really a day of thanksgiving. It was a feast of friendship shared by a friendly Indian tribe and the Pilgrims.

Two years later during a period of drought, a day of fasting and prayer was changed to a day of thanksgiving, because a gentle rain began during the prayers. For 14 days, a soft soaking rain revived the earth and plants that had already been declared beyond help. Gradually the custom prevailed, as the people continued to give thanks for good harvests.

The second thing that struck me was how things have changed. The day of thanksgiving for the blessings of God has changed to a day of turkey and football. It has also become the official kick off of the holiday shopping season, because many women go shopping while the men cluster around the T.V.

In 1863 Abraham Lincoln issued his Thanksgiving proclamation and in it he said (this paraphrased by Me) We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven, our land has enjoyed peace and prosperity that is unrivaled anywhere, but we have forgotten that it was by the gracious hand of God that we have been preserved. We have vainly imagined that the blessing of God in our lives have been produced by our own wisdom.

We have forgotten that every good gift comes from God.

This Thanksgiving holiday, we will spend a lot of time beholding the turkey, beholding the football, beholding the sales tags on what merchants gleefully call the greatest shopping day of the year and very little time giving thanks and beholding the lamb of God who made all of our blessings possible. I donít think God minds that we enjoy, turkey, football and shopping, but I do think He misses our thank youís.

So this year as we gather around the feasting table ( est. consumption of calories 4500) the TV and at the mall we need to remember that every blessing and joy in our lives is because of the Lamb of God.

It is because of Him that liberty came into our lives., for where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty.2 Cor.3:17. We should not take lightly what is ours and what most of the world does not have. Behold the lamb, and give thanks.

It is because of Him that we have our needs met. For according to John 10:10 He came that we might have life, more life and abundant life and enjoy it to the full. Phil 4:19 says that God will supply our needs, according to His riches in glory, by Christ Jesus. Behold the lamb and give thanks.

It is because of Him that light shines into darkness and allows us to perceive and understand that in the end, we win. Behold the lamb, give Him glory and honor and give thanks.

This year lets truly honor Him and thank Him for all He has done in our lives. And then enjoy the festivities.

The word says it is a good thing to give thanks to the Lord, so Iíve got a list of things that I am thankful for.

Starting with hot showers and clean (well mostly) floors. A very long and very happy marriage.

For having borne seven healthy babies that had the correct number of fingers and toes.

For friends and family who love me, over look my oddities and love me any way.

For electricity, plumbing that works, water faucets that give me potable water with a handle instead of a hand worked pump, or a trip to the river with a bucket. For washers and dryers and perma press fabrics that lighten the days chores.

For the ability to get up and go to the bathroom, without help or dragging and IV pole with me.

For dirty dishes, for that means there was food to eat. For utility bills, because that means I was warmed or cooled.

For being able to sleep soundly at night, because I serve a God who never sleeps nor slumbers .

For changing seasons and the beauty of mountains and rivers and blue skies that call my attention to Godís wonderful creative ability.

For a freedom of choice of a place to worship.

For the promises in Godís Word and the peace that passes all understanding.

For this past year in which He has brought me safely Ė another step closer to my final home.

Thanksgiving is an elective in our lives. We are not forced to be grateful, it is our privilege.

This fourth Thursday of November is to be a celebration of Godís goodness. A time when we should be more conscious of the many benefits that God has showered upon America and more personally upon each of us.

Being thankful is a definite mark of quality in a human being.

We should never forget that the life we enjoy has come from the hand of God. It is not enough to say a brief prayer on Thanksgiving day. The truly grateful heart is not limited to one day on the calendar. A life that is surrendered to God is far more pleasing to God than words. We need an attitude of gratitude every day.

The most that we can do is so little in comparison to that which Jesus has done for us. We can best praise Him by letting our lives lovingly express truth in all things, speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly Ė enfolded in love.

1 Chronicles 16:34 Ė O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good and His mercy endures forever.