For those of us in the U.S. we are celebrating Thanksgiving Day this Thursday, November 25, 2010. Thanksgiving for us is a day of family, friends, food and football (the kind with helmets and shoulder pads). We travel and we often eat more than we should, but it is a time of love, celebration and reflection. As Christians we should be constantly thankful. We have received the ultimate gift – Jesus Christ. Our debt to the Lord is so gigantic and we are incapable of repaying it. Our response to God’s gift must be lives of gratitude and thankfulness.
Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 TMB)
As you gather for Thanksgiving please actually be thankful and express your gratitude to our Lord and to those in your life (even if you are still sitting at the kids’ table again this year). Be a peacemaker. Be a living epistle. Share the love of Christ and demonstrate the love of Christ. Be thankful for what you have and for what you do not have. Be thankful for what has happened and for what has not happened. Be thankful for those in your life and for those who are not in your life. Thanksgiving is about celebrating the life that God has given to you.
Here are some quotes concerning thankfulness and Thanksgiving to edify you.
A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all other virtues. (Marcus Tullius Cicero)
Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough. (Oprah Winfrey)
As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. (John F. Kennedy)
To the generous mind the heaviest debt is that of gratitude, when it is not in our power to repay it. (Benjamin Franklin)
Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse. (Henry Van Dyke)
The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving. (H.U. Westermayer)
Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds. (Theodore Roosevelt)
On Thanksgiving Day we acknowledge our dependence. (William Jennings Bryan)
It must be an odd feeling to be thankful to nobody in particular. Christians in public institutions often see this odd thing happening on Thanksgiving Day. Everyone in the institution seems to be thankful ‘in general.’ It’s very strange. It’s a little like being married in general. (Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.)
I pray that this Thanksgiving Day will be a special time for you and your family. May God be glorified in and through you and may He use you to touch, reach and bless those around you.