|Rev. Dr. Richard L. Shaw, Pastor
As we come to Thanksgiving 2016, what should be our thinking regarding giving of thanks? Often our holidays are “hijacked” by a more or less culturally defined set of what are considered activities for any given holiday. Hence Thanksgiving has become not so much thanks giving as extravagant eating! How much time, effort, money, etc., we put into being culturally appropriate for that time. Turkey, different recipes for potatoes, several vegetables, lots of stuffing, maybe a ham, and don’t forget all the pies- apple, pumpkin, mince, chocolate, blueberry, cherry (I’m getting hungry just writing about it!). And don’t forget about all the relatives. Uncle Bill and Aunt Jane didn’t come last year, but we’ll invite them again this year, anyway. And none of this is necessarily bad in itself. The originators of this whole idea of gathering with abundant food and people originated with the very religious Pilgrims. They invited the Native Americans–known as Indians–to join them in a great celebration of the goodness and generosity of a loving God who provided an unbelievable abundance of all kinds of food for their nutrition and enjoyment. But here’s the catch–do our gatherings carry out that part of the tradition? That is, the reason for the festive gatherings? Do we really give thanks to a loving, gracious God for abundant food, for friends, for giving us a land of liberty and plenty? Above all, do we thank him for his coming into our world on a divine rescue mission to save us from our sins and give us a life of peace, joy, and purpose? When you gather this year for Thanksgiving, remember to gather for thanks giving. And you might even want to invite someone to join you who doesn’t have a family or who is away from family. And be thankful! I thank God for each one of you.
I love you all!