But as I visit the stores in the month before Thanksgiving, I see that it really is the forgotten holiday. Thanksgiving decorations are sparse, if at all. All I see from November 1st, and sometimes even before that, are glittered ornaments, Christmas trees, giant, fancy wreaths, and oh, I did see one nativity scene at Target.
But for Thanksgiving, there’s practically nothing. No framed copies of the Declaration of Independence, no cornucopias, no pilgrim salt and pepper shakers, no turkey-shaped candles. Okay, that last one might get a little weird looking as it burns down.
I guess there’s no profit in being thankful, or so the world believes. Sad, isn’t it? That the people who live in the freest country in the world have largely forgotten to give thanks for it?
Have we forgotten that Thanksgiving is about observing another birth: the birth of our nation, borne of the strength and courage and faith of men who had a vision to provide a nation unto God where people are free to worship and serve Him according to God’s will, rather than being mandated by a government of men?
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m as thankful for my turkey and stuffing and gravy and the sweet potatoes with the little browned marshmallows on top as much as anyone else. But I do hope that we remember the bigger picture – that we live in a country where we have so much in abundance that we take for granted many things that in other countries are considered luxuries.
And yet Thanksgiving seems to be a mere quick stop over between Halloween and Christmas. A time only to stuff our faces and take a nap. When the food that is served has become so important that some people get bent out of shape if a certain "Thanksgiving" food isn't served. It is about being thankful and we can be just as thankful having spaghetti and meatballs or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich as we can a full turkey dinner. Sometimes even more so.
I hope and pray we slow down this Thanksgiving and take a look around and really notice what, and who, and Whom we’ve been blessed with, and give thanks to God for all of it. I hope we cultivate hearts of thanks during this time and carry those thankful hearts into the Christmas season. And I hope we keep a sober pace as we move into Christmas and truly celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior.
Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.
Know that the Lord, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.