2020 has been quite the year, no? And still, don’t we all have something to be thankful for? I am certainly thankful for still being around and being able to contribute something back to the society and world I am in (although, don’t necessarily belong to it, Jn 15:19; Jn 17:14-16). I am thankful for family and friends, of course. However, most of all, I am thankful to God for His love, mercy and grace (for who among us can stand up and say we are right before Him?), His truth (which will set us free), His Church (a body of caring and like-minded believers that is our real family) and His plan of salvation (without which, we would all be doomed).
Still, I have random thoughts about this day and related topics I wish to share:
- We all need to take time to be thankful. Thankfulness is the antidote for so many of our problems. It is difficult to be filled with hate and gratitude at the same time. It is difficult to be depressed when we accentuate the positive (Php 4:7-8).
- In order to do this, we must stop, reflect and even meditate. Thanksgiving needs to be more than a casual “thanks” or simply saying grace. I am mindful of the word “selah”. What does “selah” really mean? I really like how the Amplified Bible, Classic Edition puts it in the Psalms: “Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!”
- Speaking of positive, there is much I can say about the white-washing of American history. I can say even more about the rewriting of history that many push today. Both approaches are wrong. Thanksgiving has a lot of myths and misconceptions about it, and some in the Church really seem to want to home in on specious arguments about why it is wrong.
However, when you strip away the silliness, you discover that the history of this nation over and over has stopped and declared times of public thanksgiving to God. Even the original story, in its real and unfancied-up setting, is truly a remarkable story in its own right. Sorry, no turkeys, but there is plenty of God’s intervening hand in shaping what would become the greatest single nation (vs the greatest company of nations) that the world would ever know.
On both fronts, those who want to destroy history and rewrite it in their cynical viewpoints and those in the Church (or, perhaps they are not in the “Church” but rather the “church”, but I am not their judge) who want to find negativity and downright paganism under every rock, I am calling you out as part of the problem and not the solution.
- Of course, for many, God is not in the picture, and it is simply “turkey day”, and that is the other extreme and deeply saddening.
- Spending time with friends and family is helpful to combat loneliness. This year, it is even more of a challenge since, myself included, will not get to see everyone I love and care for. However, we also live in an age where we can reach out in so many more ways than in the past.
Today, don’t criticize the person who posts on Facebook a picture of their Thanksgiving meal. They are reaching out. Reciprocate in the best, loving way you can. And, if you want to post that meal, don’t feel ashamed. We are all going through tough times in one way or another, different times, strange times, and as long as it is not sin, who cares?
- Remember, God is with us no matter what, unless we ourselves push Him away. God is not far from us (Ac 17:26-27), although we must seek Him out and nourish the relationship as we would need to in any other. This is, perhaps, my most important thought for the day.