Thanksgiving is all about family and tradition. Even though we are now a “fast-food” nation and a “take-out” culture, Thanksgiving is the one day when we remember old recipes and we intentionally “taste” out past. With our gathering and with what we put on our tables, we once again tell the story of the Pilgrims and the Native Americans.
On Thanksgiving we want to recall, remember, rekindle and rebuild family relationships. Thanksgiving is the time when we look around the table and give thanks for our roots and our reasons for being together.
This has become a great challenge today. Over the past 25 years “Black Friday” has grown from being a fun day of sales to being a seismic event that determines the end-of-the-year economic health of major companies. “Black Friday” now overshadows Thanksgiving. Retailers have now decided that “Black Friday” can begin to legitimately start before the turkey even gets cold on Thanksgiving Thursday. The “gathering together” for a bit of family time at Thanksgiving has now become a “staging time” for a rush into the shopping malls to find an outrageous deal….if you get there first.
Retailers need employees to operate the check-out counters and to prowl the aisles answering questions. For too many retail employees, Thanksgiving has become just another “day of work” instead of a special “day of thanks”. We need to put “GIVING THANKS” back into Thanksgiving! Otherwise, Thanksgiving is just a day to take a deep breath of our Pilgrim past so we can plunge into a future of consumerism, obsessed with finding great deals for the upcoming Christmas extravaganza.
What are YOU really thankful for this Thanksgiving? Are you thankful that you get a four-day weekend off from school or work? Are you thankful that you have a warm home and a lovely meal to sit down to and enjoy with family and friends? WHAT we give thanks for is left up to us.
When family members and friends work hard all day to create a wonderful feast – great food and a warm place to gather – that is something to be truly thankful for. But the real “thankfulness” that Thanksgiving should bring out in us is not a thankfulness for “things”. Thanksgiving is not about what we are eating, where we are, or what our shopping strategy us for Friday.
Thanksgiving must be rooted in a thankfulness for the greatest relationship we have been given throughout our entire lives. You and I have been given a deep and a close relationship with a Risen and an Ever-Present Jesus. It is Jesus who points out to us an ongoing string of Thanks-Living moments each and every day. What you and I do with each of these moments is up to us.