Its November. I love it when the days get shorter and the temperature goes down. I really enjoy the golden leaves mixed in with the red, orange and the myriad of colors of these days. Its a special time of the year which contains one of the most family-oriented days of the year. Christmas is wonderful but Thanksgiving has a special flavor to it that no other day can match.
On Oct.3, 1789, our first President, George Washington declared a National Day of Thanksgiving for God’s blessings on the new nation. On, Oct. 3, 1863 President Abraham Lincoln called for a day of national thanksgiving after winning the Battle of Gettysburg but it was officially ordained by our Nation by an act of Congress in 1941, set as the fourth Thursday in November with the proclamation signed by Franklin Roosevelt. Thanksgiving is one of our most treasured holidays as we thank God for his bountiful blessings on our nation.
This special day has always been a time for the family to come home and gather around a bountiful table of food. It is a time for us to treasure the family and the home. We gather around and fellowship with people we may not have seen for some time. Everyone is happy and grateful for the blessings they have experienced the past year. Its a good day indeed.
While “middle America” focuses on this special day and its meaning, we must not forget that many people in our great country might not have the same kind of day we are having. With all the problems we have in this vast country today, many are caught in a situation where they have little to be thankful for. There are a lot of hurting people out there and while we might not be able to do much about their situation, we can always make sure that we pray for them and when the blessings of life are enough to share we should do that as well. James, the Brother of Jesus, was the Pastor of the Christian church in Jerusalem and he has a word for us in James 2:14-20. He tells us that our faith is worth nothing unless it has “feet.” And while the church cannot solve all the problems of society, Christians should have a desire to help those who do not have “those things needful to the body” as James says. One does not have to look far to see just how blessed they are and just how thankful they should be.
In America, we have so much that we have, to a great degree, forgotten how thankful we should be. Too much is taken for granted. Things have been good, almost too good for thankfulness to be a part of our lives because the emotion of thankfulness can only be appreciated when one realizes what life might be like if they were not bountifully blessed. Our country is taken for granted by too many of the people living here and enjoying its bountifulness.
I think we must realize that God can remove any of the blessings we have when and if He desires to do so. Our thankfulness should have Him at the center and we should realize that we owe Him our gratitude for His dealings with us personally and corporately.
So, when we celebrate Thanksgiving this Thursday, Nov. 25, lets make sure that we recognize Who makes this all possible, give Him the thanks for the bounty, and resolve to give Him thanks every day for His blessings. We should also commit ourselves to living in light of the scripture in James 2:14-20 and be open to help those who have less and need a blessing from those who have the means for helping them. You will find that the Lord will bless the giver much more than they ever expected when they share the bounty of life which is given to us by God’s Grace.
There is so much more that could be said in relation to this subject that it would fill many columns. But this little article is hoping to get people to focus on one thing; Thankfulness.
William F. Harrell….11-20-2021
Reverend William (Bill) Harrell has been in ministry 48 years. He served as the pastor of Abilene Baptist Church in Martinez, GA for over 30 of those years. He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also check out his blog at www.williamfharrell.com