Thanksgiving

English: The story of a thanksgiving day, as i...

Thanksgiving day, as in the offering of first fruits in Deuteronomy 26:1-11

The American Day of Thanksgiving is not found in the Bible in so many words.  It is something that came into being over time, as the leaders of this nation had to acknowledge the great blessings that were lavished on her by the Almighty.  But, Thanksgiving isn’t something that can be confined to a day.  It’s an attitude by which one lives.  St. Paul wrote, “Rejoice in the Lord always!   And I will say it again.  Rejoice.”   1000 years earlier than that, a grateful writer proclaimed, “This is the day that the Lord has made.  We will rejoice and be glad in in!”

My greatest reason for rejoicing this morning, as every morning, it that I know that my very existence doesn’t depend on an anomaly of space, an random exploding quark, or a narrowly averted ice age.  The universe wasn’t made by chance, doesn’t run at random, and won’t fall apart until it’s supposed to do so.  It was created by God, and it is sustained by God.   A closer look reveals that it is like a very, very large watch that has been wound and is now running.   There is no watch that was ever created by a man that runs with the precision of the universe.  Every time I contemplate the universe, I rejoice that I am part of it.

God made the universe for people.  He made everything for us.   He made all the wonders of heaven and earth for us to enjoy and at which we could marvel.  He intends to show us that he is both all-powerful and also that he is willing to give us every blessing.

Into God’s wonderful clockwork, people throw monkey wrenches.  In our, lives, there are many people who deny God, deny the intelligent design of everything, seek to tear down the joy that God wants all men to have.  So, not all is wonderful in our lives.  But, even though this world, the media, the naysayers, the greedy liars, want to dwell on he negative, hurt, kill, destroy, enslave in the name of money and power, still the grace of God shines through.

I have many things for which to give thanks.  First of all, thanks for the knowledge that has been made available to me.  This includes, first and foremost, the knowledge of the eternal truth, the Bible.  It also includes the vast store of resources about earthly things that have fallen into my lap over the decades.  Although, at times, I have wished to be ignorant and happy, like most people, still, there is a great comfort in knowing the truth.  I am never surprised by the liars, and I never have to fear what they say, because I know better.

Thank you for all of my friends, who also know the eternal Truth.  You are a great comfort to me.  I also rejoice through you as you report to me about the lives of you and your loved ones, and you put faces on the truth of God’s grace.  When I have been forgetful of my blessings, you have been there to remind me.

Thank you for America. No, she is not the promised land.  No, she has not always dealt with others as she should.  But those who have gone out in her name have shown the grace of God to the world.  Sure, there are always a few bad apples.  But, by and large, the world has been blessed through her.

At this time, I think especially of our men and women who represent us in the military.  You may be far away at this time, but you are still America.  Represent her well.  We thank you for your service.

I pay attention to my views, from where in the world they come.  I have a suspicion that many of them come from Americans abroad, maybe even from the soldiers.  I hope that some soldiers will read this post and then share a little thanksgiving with me today.  God bless you.

Thank you for my family, especially my mother and father.  Being a parent is the greatest responsibility in the world.  It is not easy to raise children.  It is often difficult to know how to do your best.  Her are some tips.   You can’t raise a child with money. You can’t raise a child without love, active love.  The best way to love you child is to do what my parents did for me–make sure they are in church every Sunday.  Make sure you pray together at the dinner table.  Make sure they see you giving thanks every day.  Thank you, mom and dad.

May this special day and every day of your year be filled with gratitude and joy for the blessing you have.  And, for those who have no joy, may you find someone who has joy to share with you.  For those who have the joy, get out there and share it with those who have none.   We all have something to rejoice about.  Even the very fact that we live and breathe is a blessing.  Don’t let the evil people steal your joy.  This is the day the Lord has made.  Let’s rejoice and be glad.

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