Rather than my usual thought of the week, I have chosen to do something different. We are told to give thanks to God for all that He is and all that He does (Psa. 136; 105:1-3). However, I wonder how many Americans will actually put this into practice? Sadly, all too many in America, and that includes Christians, view Thanksgiving as a few days off from work, overeating, holiday parades and specials, football games, time with family and friends and of course the infamous “black Friday” sales. And yet in all of this, the One Who made it possible is totally forgotten. Maybe we ought to borrow from the slogan of recent Christmases and use for Thanksgiving as well. How often we have called for “putting God back into Christmas.” Maybe it is time to call for all to put God into Thanksgiving.
This has always been a problem, not just in the present. Some 3,000 years ago the Psalmist wrote, “Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness” (Ps 107:8-9),
Let us remember that before there was football, Christmas sales, holiday parades, etc. that there was Thanksgiving in America. It was established by the pilgrims and the practice eventually spread throughout the New England colonies. The declaration of President Washington made it a national day of showing thanks to the God who made and preserved this great nation. It was Lincoln who added to this observance by determining that this day should fall on the fourth Thursday of the month of November. All this before all the trappings we so often associate with Thanksgiving today.
We have as a nation have become an ungrateful nation. We have kicked God out of our Government, our work place, our schools, our homes, our public events, and our lifestyles. We still call on God to bless us and we look for Him to deliver. However we never tell Him thank you when He does. We become angry when God allows a disaster to strike our nation or a tragic event such as a school shooting but we fail to remember that this is often the consequences of a nation that no longer shows its gratitude in thanksgiving and recognition.
Look at this way. If you spent tons of money and time raising your children and when they became adults they walked away from you and told you they did not love you nor did they want ever to have anything to do with you. How would you feel? Or if these children invented a religion that said that you never existed nor played any roll in their birth and upbringing but instead gave credit to a mindless process known as chance. How would you feel? Or if these children became angry every time something went wrong in their lives and blamed it on you? How would you feel? Or if these children only acknowledge you when they had a need and expected you to fully support them without any strings attached. How would you feel?
I think you would chose to disown these children and turn a deaf ear to them even when they cried out the most. Yet that is the very way we have treated our Heavenly Father and we wonder why God seems so distant from our country these days. It is time that that we as a nation recognize the God Who made American great by thanking Him for all He has done.
This Thanksgiving season, make sure you keep a place open for God. Enjoy the other things but keep God always in your thoughts. Have a happy Thanksgiving.