When the Pilgrims celebrated that first Thanksgiving in 1621, they had almost nothing. And yet they celebrated as if they had everything. Most of us Americans have more to be thankful for than to gripe about. Thanksgiving was never meant to be contained in a single day. Thanks-living is a spirit we should have for more than just one day – even for more than one year. An anonymous author has written –
If you woke up this morning and were able to hear the birds sing, use your vocal chords to utter human sounds, walk to the breakfast table on two good legs, and read the latest on your smart phone or computer screen….you are more blessed than millions of those who could not do these simple things.
If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation….you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.
If you can attend a church without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death….you are more blessed than 2 billion people in the world.
If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep….you are richer than 60% of the world.
If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change some place….you are among the top 15% of the world’s wealthiest.
If you are over 30 and either of your parents is still alive…..you are very rare. Over a billion people are orphans by then.
If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and you are truly thankful….you are blessed because the majority can, but most do not.
Giving thanks reminds us how blessed we are. This is not to say you and I do not have problems. We do, but for most of us, our blessings far outweigh our burdens.
Why do so many of us fixate on our burdens rather than our blessings? Listen, really listen today to what you and those with whom you will be spending Thanksgiving will say and talk about at the table, the other rooms of the house and in the car. How can we say we are people of faith, when so much of our life and what we say, is lived not BY FAITH, but BY FEAR?
Thanksgiving Day is a special holiday. It is a national holiday that is different from all others. On it, we do not celebrate a great victory in battle. Nor do we honor a great person who did a lot for other people. Today is a day when we thank God for the blessings we as individuals, as a family, as a community, and as a nation enjoy. Not even the ACLU seems to object. AMEN!