I grew up in Springfield, Missouri and was surrounded by grandparents, aunts & uncles, and cousins. Each year a different member of the family would host Thanksgiving dinner. While the location changed, the menu never varied. You could count on it. Everyone brought the same dish year after year. It was such a great meal, I wondered why we had it only once a year.
After dinner, the older adults would sit around and visit while the younger members of the family played games. A football game would be on TV and there would always be a lot of laughter.
By evening, everyone would be hungry again so we would finish off the leftovers. That would be followed by more visiting and games until it was time to part ways with hugs and plans for the next big family get-together.
Not everyone in our family were Christians. But that didn’t stop us from taking time before dinner to read one of the Thanksgiving Psalms, pray, and thank the Lord for His many blessings. Imagine celebrating Thanksgiving and never taking the time to give thanks to God. That doesn’t make much sense, does it?
Every family has their own holiday traditions that are special. If you don’t already do so, let me encourage you to insert into your family Thanksgiving tradition a time to focus on the Lord. Read one or more of the many Thanksgiving Psalms such as: Psalm 103, 105-107, 116, 118, & 136. Sing a song of praise. Give testimony of God’s goodness and faithfulness. Take time to worship together and pray.
In other words, do what the psalmist talked about in Psalm 105:1, “Oh, give thanks to the LORD! Call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples!”
Thanksgiving is more than a great meal, football, and family fun. It’s a time for us to do what the name of the holiday suggests. Setting aside time to sincerely give thanks to the Lord is a great teaching moment for upcoming generations. It’s a way to develop and rekindle the attitude of gratitude in all of our hearts.
From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving! And let’s be sure to give thanks, not just on Thanksgiving Day, but every day of the year.
Pastor Todd Weston