Thursday was Thanksgiving Day. What traditions do you follow at your home? Do you sit and watch the parade together? Do you view football all day long? Do you eat at the same time each year? Are you prepping for the long day of shopping on Black Friday?
I don’t know if you would call them traditions or not, but we certainly do some of the same things every year. Because it is our practice to eat the big Thanksgiving Dinner around 2 or 3 in the afternoon, we usually have a big cooked breakfast. That’s my contribution to the cooking. That will hold us until we gather at the table for turkey and dressing and fruit salad and pecan pie, and on it goes.
But the biggest thing about Thanksgiving for me is family. Even more than Christmas, I long to be with family on Thanksgiving Day. This seems to be the one major holiday that has not been as highly commercialized as so many others. And so it centers on the food and those gathered to eat it.
Some 12 years ago my family celebrated its first holiday without the one member of our family who was in many ways our glue. My mom died in April of that year, and as we approached the holiday season we were facing a decision. Where would we spend the day? What would we do?
Due to the generosity of a gentleman that many of you knew, we were able to meet in a home that was large enough for all of us. But yet it was not Mom’s kitchen. Mr. Billy Miles allowed his pastor and family to use his house in Hilton Head that week, and so we ate and laughed and cried on what might be called "neutral ground."
I know that it was a healing time for me, and my dad still talks about that special time. What a blessing! Thanksgiving filled our hearts that day.
Thanksgiving is simply characteristic of what it means to be a Christian. When we realize that we are unable to save ourselves and that we are fully dependent upon God for every good gift that we have, then we give thanks. No matter your circumstances or situation, there is some reason for you to give thanks.
Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica, "In everything give thanks." Such powerful and helpful advice. Give thanks today. Give thanks tomorrow. Remember that God is good, and give thanks at all times.