The Gospel of Thanksgiving

I don’t have to recount the history of this nation and the events that led up to the very first official Thanksgiving between the Native Americans and the early settlers. I don’t have to recount the events that led Abraham Lincoln to declare Thanksgiving a national holiday. There are plenty of places you can go to learn these things. Even this week, there will be all kinds of traditional things occurring this week that will retell the story; and some with much humor. What I’d like to do this year is to share with you some good news about this special day.

Boy giving food to a homeless man.

Boy giving food to a homeless man. Image Credit (Jupiter Images)

The good news of thanksgiving is that this nation has its roots in freedom and faith. In the harshness of a pilgrimage of people who dared to find a place where they could worship God as they deemed fit. They made their way to a place they were completely unfamiliar with. They faced elements they had not expected to encounter. Yet, because of their faith, they did not meet their doom, as many might expect. The native people of this land showed great compassion, by showing these newcomers, not just how to survive, but how to live.

Four hundred years later, millions of people have called this land home, have fought impossible odds, faced innumerable atrocities, and unimaginable events that might make those early days pale by comparison. We’re not that far removed from hurricane Katrina and Sandy; the shootings of Columbine, Virginia Tech, Newtown, CT and Aurora, CO; the massacres of 9/11 or the Boston Marathon. The good news is that even today, for us there are many who are showing great compassion for their fellow citizens, pulling them up from the depths of despair, giving support to those who know not how they will survive the day, let alone the coming winter.

Some people knock charity until they are faced with the need to have some shown to them. It is my hope on this Thanksgiving, that there will be those who find solace in the fact that there are people who have a heart to lift others up, who willingly sacrifice without expectation, and will do it with cheer. I can honestly say that God has been very gracious to me and my family over the last four years, and I can attest that it is most likely because of those seeds we sowed in the years before we saw our struggle.

If you are faced with good times now, be willing to sow the good seeds of love, having faith that if there ever is a time when you have need or a tough time, that someone will see you and be the harvest of salvation to you. We can give thanks because so many came before us, so that we could have the life that we enjoy. Many have gone before, doing things, so that we don’t have to face the same troubles and trials that they did face. Give thanks this Thanksgiving to every person who played a part in your freedoms and in the building of your faith in God and others. May you and your family not only know the good news of Thanksgiving, may you also have the pleasure of being the good news of it as well.

QUESTION: What good news do you have this Thanksgiving?

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