Many times we throw around words without really digesting what we are saying. We know from history what this day meant to the pilgrims but what does it mean to you personally. I use the same analogies when I speak about bible scriptures. We use words that carry traditional meanings so therefore we rarely digest the words that we are reading.
What are you saying when you wish someone a Happy Thanksgiving? Are you saying that I hope you have lots of turkey and dressing with friends, family, wine, and spirits? Don’t forget the nice desserts to top it off. How about the times spent with your loved ones chatting, watching the games on tv, catching up with what is going on in the lives of some of your cousins that you haven’t seen for ages… or also mourning the ones that passed recently either from old age, sickness or other reasons. What are you really saying to people when you tell them ‘Happy Thanksgiving?’
If you look up the holiday it would say a number of things. I suggest you look it up for kicks. But just briefly, the 1621 Plymouth feast and thanksgiving was prompted by a good harvest, which the Pilgrims celebrated with the Native Americans, who helped them get through the previous winter by giving them food in that time of scarcity. Look at what that act of generosity got the Natives? But we will not go there for the moment. This upcoming day is one of celebrating and giving thanks for what we have received.
As is the case for a lot of such days that we celebrate, many people do not know the meaning or the reason for celebrating. To them, it is all about the joyous celebrating and not as much about the reason. Christmas has almost totally lost its true meaning or reason for the season. It appears that the entire world has begun to share each other’s holidays. Any reason to take days off from the job, or for commercial business to run special sales to get us into the stores and have us part with our hard-earned money is a good enough excuse to celebrate. We tend to go along with whatever people are celebrating, even if we don’t know the meaning of the holiday. It becomes just another day to let your hair down and dance a jig.
So as you are celebrating this holiday season including Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year’s Day, Epiphany, Advent, Winter solstice, and others, go ahead be merry, but please be safe. If at all possible, try to learn of the reason that you’re celebrating so we don’t lose their significance. Some people just look forward to gorging themselves, getting drunk, and receiving gifts with no care about the reason. That actually dishonors the holiday, but do they care?
Personally, for my family and friends, Thanksgiving Day is a time for our family gatherings and to give thanks for all we have received to make it through another season. We are thankful for the blessings that God has bestowed upon us as well as for our health and well-being. Many people we know are not doing as well so we pray for them and ask for the Lord’s grace and mercy. We have lost a few souls, so we wish them a safe home going. We cherish our loved ones and are so grateful to have them to enjoy for the times we have remaining, not knowing if in another season everyone will still be with us. In fact, we know that some will not be here next year at this time because that is the nature of living, death is at the other end of that journey. We pray for salvation for the souls of those who believe and worship Almighty God. We likewise pray for the souls of those who do not worship or believe in Almighty God. For all of this and much, much more that was not mentioned, we give and receive thanks from our Maker and from each other. May grace and peace be with all, and God’s peace be with those who honor Him. Selah and Amen!