Here in this country, we have seasons of celebration. Many family traditions embrace the seasonal holiday of Thanksgiving.
The short historical version of the holiday consists of successful harvests (Plymouth, 1620), to remember the widows and orphans of war (Civil War, Abraham Lincoln), and (Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the U.S., Great Depression) attempting to boost the economy during the Depression.
So, distilling all his down, it’s not just about a turkey, holidays and harvesting or increasing the economy, or even football. Thanksgiving is indeed about giving thanks.
Who do I thank? What am I thankful for? How do I give thanks?
- Your provider. Ultimately, who is the source from which all the provisions, possessions, protections, and people we have in our lives?
- Your faith. The one who we put our complete trust in caring for us, leading our families and us through this life is the one that we can place “our faith.” The one who we believe can bring out the best in our families and us guiding us faithfully all the way.
- There is only One. God, Jehovah, Creator of the heavens and the earth. He is the only one, faithful and true — the faithful One with the all-encompassing, complete source of love, care, and oversight of our lives.
- Provisions. Our Heavenly Father has faithfully, by covenant with His children, promised to be the life-time Provider. He will not fail us. He is a faithful Father.
- Possessions. Homes, jobs, savings, vehicles, clothing, food, and all external requirements of this life. Everything.
- Protections. 2 Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
- People. Granted, we don’t always desire to give thanks for some. However, we have so many to be thankful for because of their part and influence in our lives.
- Create grateful moments. Of course in small or large group family gatherings but especially individuals.
- Give public thanks. Make a comfortable opportunity to be grateful for all family and friends.
- Allow others the opportunity to be thankful. Share when you gather together before taking your meal. Hearing the gratefulness of others encourages love.
- Encourage forgiveness. Unforgiveness suppresses and dilutes thankfulness. Create moments to allow people the chance to consider the opportunity of giving forgiveness.
- Offer a Thanksgiving prayer together before taking your meal. Here are some ideas for the Thanksgiving prayer. Have one person pray for the people, the food, and the opportunity of being together. Allow each person the opportunity to offer a Thanksgiving prayer individually. Gather together in smaller groups giving thanks for food and each other.
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