It’s accompanied by football, flannels, and the crisp fall air. It rolls around once a year and we celebrate a week off from school and the shopping deals that are to come Friday morning. We go around the table and answers mom’s question of, “what are you thankful for?” with such ease. Our Instagram post captions get a little longer as we unravel how thankful we are for _____ (you fill in the blank). We beam with joy and pride ourselves in the heart of gratitude we always seem to be able to cultivate on a Thursday in November.
However, Thanksgiving must be more than a once a year celebration. As people of faith, Thanksgiving is not a holiday it is a spirit we must operate out of year round. A heart flowing with thanksgiving should not be cultivated at the dinner table come the end of November. A heart of thanksgiving should be born the moment you go from dead in your sins to alive in Christ and once it is established it must never lessen.
What really is Thanksgiving Day? Most say, “It is a day set aside each year where people in the United States and Canada give thanks to God for all the blessings they received during the year by feasting and prayer.”
I love Thanksgiving. But there is a problem if only one time a year we acknowledge what Jesus has done for us. We don’t even realize it but Thanksgiving has turned into a way for us to blend into the world and not be set apart. Think of it this way: do unbelievers notice anything different about you on Thanksgiving day? The answer most of the time is no. Simply because, everyone seems to muster up a sense of gratitude on that day. We can no longer settle with being the kind of people whose spirit of gratitude blends in with the rest of the world because it only surfaces once a year, the same time everyone else’s does.
Living with gratitude consistently comes down to being able to see clearly. When we see Jesus for who He is and what He has done we cannot help but respond with praise. Praise is Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is praise. What if we chose to only worship Jesus one day a year? Don’t you see, this idea of being thankful is much bigger than just saying, “I am thankful for.” The posture of being thankful is to honor and worship a Holy God who did for us what we never deserved.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead...” 1 Peter 1:3
The way you position yourself the other 364 days of the year are more important than Thanksgiving day. It is easy to be thankful when everyone else is too. The cross, where God in His great mercy gave us new life and hope through His resurrection, does not stand only once a year. So we must stop giving our speeches of what we are thankful for once a year.
You are invited to celebrate Thanksgiving today. Right here and now.
So tell me…
What are you thankful for? Can it turn into praise?