As I am planning to spend the approaching holiday with my daughters and grandchildren, this will probably be my last opportunity to write before Thanksgiving. Hence, I wanted to share some thoughts about our collective and individual responsibilities to demonstrate our thankfulness to Almighty God.
It seems to me that thankfulness is intimately associated with remembering - remembering all of the blessings that have been bestowed upon us by God. One of the psalmists admonished his readers to acknowledge the role that God has played in those blessings. He wrote: "Know ye that the Lord he is God...Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name." (Psalm 100:3-4) Likewise, Paul admonished the saints at Colosse to be thankful to God. (Colossians 3:15)
Hence, to remind us of this obligation, I have read a passage from the book of Deuteronomy before every Thanksgiving Day meal that my family has participated in for the last thirty-five years plus. We read: "But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day. And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the Lord thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish." (Deuteronomy 8:18-19) Just prior to this admonishment, the author had talked about our human propensity for attributing our good fortune to our own skill and hard work. (verse 17) In other words, we tend to dismiss or forget about the SOURCE.
There is an account in the Gospel According to Luke where Jesus healed ten lepers. (Luke 17:11-19) Nevertheless, afterwards, there was only one man that took the time to be thankful to God for what had happened. (verse 15-16) Moreover, the man was a Samaritan - not a Jew. (verse 16) Continuing, we read: "And Jesus answering said, 'Were there not ten cleansed (healed)? But where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.' And he said unto him, 'Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.'" (verses 17-19) What about you? Will you return to give glory to God for the spiritual healing which you have received as a consequence of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for your sins?
I hope that we will all take advantage of the opportunity that this holiday affords to us and take a moment to reflect upon all of the things for which we have to be thankful. It's time to remember. May God bless all of us with a good memory at this very special time of the year!