O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.”
— Psalm 136:1
The Thanksgiving holiday is almost here, although we don’t need a special day to thank God for our blessings. We can do that every day, not just on the last Thursday in November!
I don’t know about you, but in the past few years, it has felt to me more and more like Thanksgiving is being lost in the rush to Christmas.
Retailers treat this holiday primarily as the “day before Black Friday” and all the great (or not so great) sales they will be offering. Last year, I noticed that some stores were even starting their Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving Day itself. Their message seems to be “Don’t waste your time giving thanks for your blessings. Go spend your money getting ready for Christmas instead!”
Walmart and Lowe’s and Home Depot already have Christmas decorations for sale, right next to lots of decorations for Halloween and a few decorations for “Fall.” Some radio stations will begin playing Christmas songs the day after Halloween, and Lifetime TV has already started showing its Christmas movies.
This year let’s refuse to be rushed towards Christmas or to be manipulated by the rampant consumer market and commercialization of the holidays. Let’s take time to truly give thanks to the Lord for being so good to us. Let’s take time to count our blessings, and to praise God for God’s faithfulness and love.
We have suffered many losses this year as a congregation. We have also suffered through many issues with our church building that needed to be addressed, some on short notice. We have grieved together, we have laughed together, we have worked together, we have worshipped together, and we have grown together.
We have been richly blessed by the presence of the Holy Spirit in our midst throughout every challenge and loss. We have been incredibly blessed by the grace of Jesus Christ our Savior, who saves us every day. We have been eternally blessed by the love of God the Father, who created us and claims us as his own.
I am grateful for the ways God has blessed me over the past 11 months, for bringing me here and calling me to serve this congregation. I am blessed with your friendships and prayers, with your witness and service, and with your faith and endurance.
I hope you will take time in the coming weeks, and not just on Thanksgiving Day, to focus on your blessings and to praise God for each one. Let us all give thanks to the Lord, for indeed, God is good!