What are you are thankful for this year?
I know, if I am honest with myself, evryday i have something to be thankful for….even on the days when I am sicker than a dog.
Day of Thanksgiving
November 22, 2007
The Reason to Give Thanks
In 1621, the Pilgrims celebrated the first Thanksgiving to which they invited the Wampanoags, a native American tribe, who had helped them settle and plant new crops in the new land. Back in the second millennium before Christ, the Israelites were also trying to settle in a new land.
Today’s text in Deuteronomy 26 gives instructions to the Israelites and to us, God’s children, on how to be thankful to God. When we come to worship God, we offer the best of what we have: our time, our talent, our resources. When we pray, our hearts swell with gratitude to God even though we may have experienced hardships and oppressions in the past. When we gather to celebrate the Thanksgiving meal, we are moved to live out the true spirit of thanksgiving by inviting those who are less fortunate than us to share in this celebratory time.
We are all grateful to God for his provisions and generous gifts. We thank God for good health and good jobs. But what if cancer strikes us or our loved ones? What if a tornado demolishes our home? What if our spouse is injured on the battlefield?
In Philippians 4:4, the apostle Paul reminds us to be glad and be thankful always. Always? Why? Because we belong to Christ Jesus. We have answered Jesus’ call. Jesus says: “I am the bread that gives life! No one who comes to me will ever be hungry. No one who has faith in me will ever be thirsty” (John 6:35, CEV). Jesus is the reason why we can always thank God, in all circumstances, throughout the year, throughout our life, and not just at Thanksgiving.
Mattie Stepanek, a thirteen-year-old poet who suffered muscular dystrophy and finally succumbed to the disease on June 22, 2004, wrote in an autobiographical piece: “I want people to know that in every life there are storms. But we must remember to play after every storm and to celebrate the gift of life as we have it, or else life becomes a task, rather than a gift.”
This Thanksgiving as we celebrate, let us remember to be thankful for God’s gift, his son Jesus Christ, a gift that is too wonderful for words! (2 Corinthians 9:15)
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This week’s Reflection was prepared by the Rev. Dr. Xuan Huong Thi Pham, who serves at the American Bible Society as Translation Officer in the Nida Institute for Biblical Scholarship.
Live simply. Love generously.
Care deeply. Speak kindly.
Leave the rest to God.
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