From the Pastor….
Week: November 19, 2023 – November 25, 2023
Read: I Thessalonians 5: 16-18
Key Verses: "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
In the first week of this month, I began unpacking the meaning of the Lord’s Prayer. I thought I would park on a curb this week to talk about Thanksgiving (I will return to the Lord’s Prayer next week). The original Thanksgiving was held in December 1621; it was a day set aside by the people for feasting and prayer to show God gratitude for their lives.
The settlers also gave thanks to God for His provisions in helping them to find acres of cleared land, an area in which there were no hostile Native Americans, for newfound religious freedom, and for God’s provision of an interpreter to the Native Americans. Along with the feasting and games, there were prayers, sermons, and songs of praise (Crabtree, 2021). From that time forward, Thanksgiving has been celebrated as a day to give thanks to God for His gracious gifts.
God continues to give us His gifts. In fact, the greatest gift God has given has been that of His Son, Jesus Christ, who gave His life on the cross, so our sins would be forgiven and we would have eternal life (John 3:16; Romans 3:19-26). Similar to those present at the first Thanksgiving, we have quite a bit for which to be grateful to God. As I consider an attitude of gratitude, I also recognize that free will gives us a choice. We can exercise gratitude. Or we can complain. In life (if you have not already figured it out) there will always be occurrences for which we can complain, but if you sit still for a just a moment and think over the last week alone, you may realize that God has been truly awesome to you and everyone connected to you, despite the not-so-good situations.
As our society becomes increasingly secular, giving thanks to God during the Thanksgiving holiday is being overlooked, leaving only the feasting and commercial attentions. As believers, our thanksgiving to God should be each and every day of our lives.
Prayer: “Our Father in heaven, help us to be thankful for all You do for us every day. You are exceedingly good, and every good gift comes from You. We praise You for Your goodness and mercy towards us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor André Morgan