Mankind has been giving thanks throughout our long history on this planet.
- I imagine cave-dwellers gave thanks for the light and warmth of a fire.
- Basket-toting gatherers gave thanks when their travels brought them to an abundant harvest of berries and fruit in some fertile valley.
- Spear-clutching hunters gave thanks after taking down a wooly mammoth large enough to feed their nomadic community for many weeks.
- Pueblo-dwellers gave thanks for a corn harvest sufficient to see their community through another harsh winter.
- Pony-riding Apache people gathered as a community and gave thanks for the bison returning to their corner of the plains.
- Words of thanksgiving were formed by the lips of a pioneer mother kneeling at a child’s bedside in their dugout home as a fever broke.
- Dry-land farmers expressed thanksgiving with faces turned heavenward as life-giving moisture fell upon recently-sown seed.
- Just last week members of my own family gathered in a simple Colorado chapel to press through our shared grief, giving thanks for the life lived by Louisa Sharman; a daughter, wife, mother, sister, and sister-in-law.
Together We Give Thanks
Since 1863 Americans have designated the fourth Thursday of each November as a day for giving thanks. Our gratitude for each and every blessing is not limited to one day of the year, but on that one day the “collective we” gives thanks.”
You and I know that our thankfulness is directed toward someone specific. We know that we simply can’t take credit for the many blessings we experience. Therefore, we join the Apostle James in declaring, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father” (James 1:17).
We express our thanks to One
We give thanks out of deep and sincere appreciation for every blessing experienced. Even in times of difficulty or sorrow, we give thanks to the One who “causes all things to work together for good. (Romans 8:28).”
Thanksgiving Day is a choral event when every member of the community joins in singing the song of praise.
We do more than recognize how blessed we are. We express with clear specificity that the Living God is the One from whom all blessings flow. And to Him we express our gratitude.
As you “count your many blessings, naming them one-by-one,” look beyond the blessing to the One who blesses. Give thanks to God for each “good and perfect gift.”
This Thanksgiving Day I am grateful that God allows me to serve alongside you, the people of Alsbury.