The day we determine to give thanks for all our blessings has often signaled the beginning of the Christmas season with thoughts of how much money we can save by going shopping the day after we fill our bellies with tasty treats and overdose on football games.
Some of my fondest memories of Thanksgiving didn’t really come from the amount of food or the obvious bounty, but the actual gathering of friends and relatives – the hugs – the conversation – the laughter. This year will be different. Yet, this is still a time for giving thanks.
Last week I asked the question, “What do we have to be thankful for?” We’ve been mandated to wear masks, to limit the number of guests we invite into our homes, order our food from outside, social distance and basically be unhappy during this time which is normally dedicated to a feeling of gratitude. Many of the population will be isolated this Thanksgiving. Many will take a chance and hope to beat the odds by having the usual feast and pray there are no repercussions. Some will take it all in stride while others will complain and fuss.
So really, in all of this what do we have to be thankful for? Many of our rights have been stripped away. Our churches will be empty. Our tables will not be as full. Our Christmas shopping will be done online. All of this will occur with a sense of the unknown laying at the end of each day. A time of year when sensitivity runs rampant, when feelings of loneliness and loss fills hearts, when the additional stress of a pandemic and an unresolved election, we find it difficult to see the good in any of it.
Still, we have the promises of our eternal God. He loves us so much that He’s provided for our salvation. There is no cost on our part. He alone is the reason we have a place reserved in heaven. We have access to the King of Creation because of His great love for us – an undeserved love which we don’t merit. This year of what seems to be a collection of challenges that would normally be insurmountable, doesn’t have to be that way. We might need this kind of wake up call to realize what’s really important to us. If that becomes the result, we have so much to be thankful for – even in the year 2020.