We are entering one of the most festive times of the year. For the Christian, this is truly a time of reflection. This is what we know as Thanksgiving and Christmas celebration. recently I have been reviewing the history concerning the holiday we call Thanksgiving. It did not take me long to discover that there were publications that had already desired to ‘cancel out’ the Christian Holiday of Thanksgiving. It is amazing that presently we must pay close attention to everything we read and then wonder, is this the truth …. the real truth?
Thanksgiving is real when it is support by Thanks Living. Thanksgiving serves as a reminder of our history. It should challenge us that Thanksgiving is not just a day on the calendar, but a lifestyle.
Thanks Living is intentional. Everyday and in Everything I should express thankfulness. Paul gives us some pertinent information as he is writing to the church in Thessalonica. 1 Thessalonians 5:16 – Rejoice evermore 17 – Pray without ceasing 18 – In everything give thanks: For this is the will of God in Christ concerning you.
For me to appropriately express Thanksgiving, I must go back before President Abraham Lincoln declared a National Day of Thanksgiving in 1863. I must go back before President George Washington in 1789 proclaimed Thanksgiving and I must even go back before the Pilgrims in 1621. Go with me as we travel all the way back to Bethlehem where the angel began speaking in Luke 2 “fear not; for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people (11) For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. (12) And this shall be a sign unto you, Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. (13) And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying (14) Glory to God in the highest, And on Earth Peace, Good will towards men.”
That night there was a Christ Child Born. Today He is our Savior. As He lived on Earth , He lived giving THANKS to God. Notice some scripture that demonstrates the THANKS LIVING life of our Lord.
1Corinthians 11:23-24 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
Matthew 11:25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.
Matthew 15:36 And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.
John 11:41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me
I believe it is impossible to really praise God until we become thankful. I remember the psalmist stated in Psalm 100:4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. If I am not thankful for what I have, how can I praise Him for who He is? Remember, it is God’s will for us thanks “in all things”. We might not wish to thank Him for all things, but, while we are in all things (bad situations) God is still God and He does not change. We thank Him for who He is!
Bishop Melvin Shuler