November 24, 2015

I love thanksgiving.

It’s the simple holiday, the humble holiday, the hangout and relax holiday.

Thanksgiving, as history informs us, was begun by our forebears; the Plymouth colony survivors. After enduring a harsh winter, in 1621, but realizing an abundant corn harvest the following summer due to the help of the local Wampanoag tribe, colonial Governor, William Bradford, declared a feast to celebrate their new life on a new continent. That new life included, new friends in the local tribes’ people and new hope as they learned to cultivate a means of material support from an untamed wilderness and new freedom to worship as they pleased without religious persecution.

That first Thanksgiving provided a simple meal of wild game, wild edibles and cultivated corn, a humble community of European survivors and Native Americans, and a day to hangout and relax. That first Thanksgiving inaugurated an American tradition. In fact, it would become a nationally recognized holiday when President George Washington proclaimed it as such in 1789. Later, in 1863, during the civil war, President Lincoln made the last Thursday of November a fixed date on the national calendar for its celebration.

That date falls on the 26th, this month and I can’t wait. I love thanksgiving; I love the aroma of the kitchen, the laughter in the living room, the conversation at the table, I even like the fall colors, so bright and bold.

I also love the simplicity of it – no lights to hang, no gifts to buy, no tree to trim, very little commercialization. It’s a simple, humble day, of preparing and sharing a meal, with family and friends. Its a humble day to simply remember how God has given us too, the means to make a living from a tough world, a day to hang out and watch football or grandchildren, or perhaps try to survive the neighborhood flag football game.

God loves thanksgiving too. Did you realize that?

Scripture tells us so…

“In everything give thanks, for that is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” 1 Thes-salonians 5:18. It also tells us this… “He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me; and to him to orders his way aright, I shall show the salvation of God.” Psalm 50:23

That too is a simple, humble, relaxing thing to do.

God, who is the author of our lives; our families, our health, our prosperity, our peace, would like a little acknowledgement. After all, He does deserve it.

It’s a simple thing to just say “thanks”, no real effort there, not like the effort involved in a “sacrifice”. It’s a humble thing to give Him the credit for our blessings and success – maybe that is the sacrifice, it’s hard for men to say that and harder still to say it in front of the family? And it’s a relaxing thing to do at a dinner table – to simply raise a toast to God, then bow the head and say of prayer of thanksgiving, giving specific mention of the years blessings, as our family bows their head with us. That is all He asks, a “sacrifice of Thanksgiving”.

Men, we can do this, we should do this; I can’t wait to do this. I love Thanksgiving and I bow in gratitude before The God who makes the simply, humble, relaxing day a possibility. I thank God…

Jim Cote