Thanksgiving is a time of reflection and gratitude of the many blessings of God, not of obtaining or amassing things we want from this world.
Whenever this holiday roles around, many of us become excited about getting off work for a few days, getting together with family and friends, eating a huge meal to our heart's content, and, some of us even use this time to put up Christmas decorations or, to get an early start in our holiday shopping.
As with various holidays we celebrate as believers, we must see way past some of these superficial meanings the world places on them, and give them true and proper relevance they deserve.
The way that you and I celebrate this holiday demonstrates the value we place upon it.
I like a good holiday turkey just as much as the next person does, but personally I feel its a bit overrated. Why should so much attention be given to one class of meat? There are other delicious types of meat (if you are a meat-lover), such as chicken, veal, venison, duck, ham, and so forth; but really, that's not the point at all, is it.
Giving to others also demonstrates how thankful you are in a world where covetousness ranks at a very high level within our society this day in time. When you give to those who are in need, God will bless you with much more to help provide for you and your family, and so that you, in turn, will give back to others again and again. It truly is more blessed to give than to receive. This is the beauty of stewardship.
The meaning during this holiday, for a Christian especially, should be one of reflection for all that our good and wonderful Lord has blessed us with. Some of these things might include:
Another value we place on this holiday is one of gratitude. Being grateful to God, to other people, or about situations, circumstances, or events that went well for you throughout this past year encompasses many of these great things to be thankful for.
Perhaps you got a raise at your job, or your son or daughter won the spelling bee at school, or your spouse got good news about a cancer scare. All of these are truly great things to be grateful for.
As a Christian however, yes we are to give thanks to God for His wonderful blessings; however, we are also told in the Bible to be thankful and grateful for those things that go badly for us as well and how we should view them as they happen in our lives. Look at these passages of scripture that speak to these things:
This is one holiday that asks us to ponder and think of all the good that has happened to us and to our friends and families throughout the year. Of course, this is truly a wonderful thing to do in and of itself, but perhaps you have observed how this holiday has also become somewhat commercialized over the years.
Have you ever noticed, that Halloween seems to be a hugely, celebrated holiday? Retail stores begin putting out all their Halloween merchandise already by mid-September or earlier. Thanksgiving then comes in quickly and appears to become a bit overshadowed and squeezed in right between Halloween and Christmas.
The very day that is so important for us to reflect upon and of which to show our gratefulness and gratitude seems to come and go so quickly, leaving us feeling slightly behind, overwhelmed, burned out, and a bit hurried because we then realize that yet another holiday is knocking at our purse's door, demanding all of its full attention as well.
Many of us tend to want to get the Thanksgiving holiday to hurry up and get over with so that we can begin the dashing rush on for Christmas. After all, there are presents to buy, decorations to hang up, parties to attend, and family members to invite over for the Christmas meal, which could also include (yep, you guessed it), another turkey!
As you celebrate this coming Thanksgiving Day, remember all the reasons for celebrating it, and giving this holiday its special significance, just as the Pilgrims did so many years ago at the landing of Plymouth Rock.
The meaning of this wonderful tradition for the believer is that of joy, celebration, praise, and thanksgiving for all of God's benefits He has given to us, that of His provision, protection, guidance, mercy, salvation, strength, grace, and so on.
Continue to worship the Lord in song, word, and deed, as you worship the Lord, thanking Him for all His goodness to you, and in doing so, you honor the Lord 'til He comes back in all His glory for you and me. Have a great Thanksgiving!