For most of us Thanksgiving means sitting around a table and enjoying a meal with turkey as the centerpiece, hopefully with family and friends. It is often preceded by viewing the annual Macy Thanksgiving Day Parade. It usually means watching some sports on television and maybe partaking of some sports outdoors, like touch football or deer hunting. It also means scouring the Black Friday ads to see what bargains are worth the early-morning hour mad rush-also ironically considered a sport to many.
But if the holiday really instigates what it is designed to, it will give us all an impetus to pause and give thanks for our many blessings. No matter if your personal circumstances may be the worst you’ve ever known, I am sure you have something for which to give thanks.
Giving thanks implies that there must be a recipient of that gratitude. For most of us our holiday sentiments will got toward God. I often cling to the promise found in the King James Version of Psalm 22:3. In short, it says God inhabits the praise of His people. So in other words, if we want God to be with us, we need to give him praise, or thanks.
While thinking of Thanksgiving I did a bit of research and found Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation given on October 3, 1863. One part in particular struck a chord with me: It is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God; to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is the Lord.