9 “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
Thanksgiving. Such a beautiful word filled with thoughts of elementary school studies (you remember seeing kiddos in your lunch room being replaced by little people wearing construction paper pilgrim hats and Native American head dresses/feathers), lining the tables and enjoying what was considered a "Thanksgiving Feast," ala public school lunchroom. It's a word filled with thoughts of family. Of being together with those you love, and some, you do well to love, and sharing laughter, food, football on the family TV and thoughts of Christmas knocking loudly at the door. It's a word, that combined with the words, "after," "day," and "sale," brings excitement to the hearts of serious (or crazy, I'm not sure which best describes this tribe of people yet, even though I have been privy to what is known as Black Friday) bargain shoppers who wish to get the best things for the least money!
But, what is Thanksgiving? I am not a linguist, but I do love how the day that we celebrate in our country as the day that two groups of people came together to unite, even for a day, and celebrate freedom and friendship, is made up of two words: "thanks" and "giving." And as I sit to ponder this post, I wonder how little that I really think of either words as being crucial to that particular holiday, or, any day for that matter? Personally, I have more than I can even begin to type or even categorize in the way of "things for which I am thankful," and when it comes to actually "giving thanks," do I equally do more than enough of that to account for my many blessings? I won't bore you with the hundreds of things I can spout off when it comes to things that bless me, all beyond what I deserve, but I do wish to challenge you, as well as myself this season of Thanksgiving.
May we all not only recognize the people, things and most importantly, the God who wishes to give His children (who aren't worthy) good gifts (and by gifts, I don't mean nice cars, fancy homes or the latest Apple product), but may we then turn and give to others out of our abundance. Out of our abundance of funds. Out of our abundance of "yard sale" boxes. Out of our abundance of time (and yes, we may feel spent, but we always have more time to give for the things that matter most to us). Out of our abundance of food. Out of our abundance of hope. And most importantly, out of our abundance of the joy, which comes down from the Father of light, who does not change like shifting shadows, who not only wishes to give us good and perfect gifts (James 1:17), but who then wishes us to share all for which we have been given with those who may be lacking in their abundance, even this very moment!
Thanksgiving. May it be truly a season for us to be thankful, but also, to give. . . sacrificially, joyfully, abundantly, freely, as Christ has given to us!