The Season of Thanksgiving
Giving thanks reminds us how blessed we are. Even the poorest of us are better off than many in the world today. As some anonymous author has written:
If you woke up this morning and were able to hear the birds sing, use your vocal cords to utter human sounds, walk to the breakfast table on two good legs, and read the newspaper with two good eyes . . . you are more blessed than millions of those who could not do these simple things.
If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation . . . you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.
If you can attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death . . . you are more blessed than three billion people in the world.
If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep . . . you are richer than 75% of this world.
If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish some place . . . you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy.
If you are over thirty and either of your parents is still alive you are very rare. Over a billion people are orphans by then.
If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful . . . you are blessed because the majority can, but most do not.
Giving thanks reminds us how blessed we are. This is not to say that you and I do not have problems. We do, but for most of us, our blessings far outweigh our burdens.
Giving thanks also reminds us of the source of our blessings. God is that source that loves us so deeply. When you start counting your blessings, you are reminded just how good God has been to you. After all, these blessings don’t just happen. There is a Source of everything we have.
25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?
28And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, 29yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34“So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today. (Matthew 6:25-34)
When we give thanks we are reminded to share with others what the Lord has done for us. If you are truly thankful for the blessings God has bestowed upon you, then share that story with others. Ultimately, the best way to share the story is to share the blessings. You and I have been so blessed. We need Thanksgiving to remind us of those blessings and to remind us of the source of those blessings. We are encouraged and inspired to go out and share those blessings with our friends and neighbors; our co-workers and leaders. Not only our material blessings, but our spiritual blessings. If God has blessed you with the Holy Spirit, let the spirit speak through you. Bless others with that same Holy Spirit.
Thanksgiving is a time for us to give thanks to Him who provides for us. It is also a time for us to be a sharing and loving people. I invite you, as we enter the Thanksgiving Season, to ask a friend to church; if you don’t have a church home, seek one out. It is about loving God and each other. It is about building God’s Kingdom.
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Rev. Randy Nielsen
Morgantown First and Woodbury United Methodist Church
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- There will also be a Christmas Eve Communion Service at Morgantown First UMC at
12 p.m. on December 24th. Church members will be going with Santa to the nursing home to sing afterwards.