It’s only three weeks until Thanksgiving – three Thursdays from now – less than a month away. Thanksgiving at my house usually runs anywhere between November 1st and November 30th. For years (far too many to count) Thanksgiving Day was just another day for me, as the men in the family would trudge off to Wisconsin for the white tailed deer hunt, male comradery, sitting in a tree and feasting and fun on Thursday. The past couple of years have changed all that. The hunt has kind of slipped into times passed and our family has blossomed out to the point of sharing them with the other sides of their families.
I remember the Thanksgivings of my youth. The table was set with fine china and crystal. The fancy silver needed to be polished free of the tarnish that had set in. Food was days in the making. Pies and special breads and treats were made in advance. Turkey was stuffed with delicious dressing and all throughout the week, sensational smells danced through the house. The day arrived. Televisions were shut off, football games were put on hold and for almost an hour, we passed the potatoes, soaked in the tastes and eye candy and conversed with each other. A perfect meal – yes. A lot of thanksgiving – not so much. The meal, the table and the festivie flavor was the center of attention. The meal was generally rushed through so a return to the game could occur. Not much different than today.
We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessings – words from a Thanksgiving hymn I learned as a child. Our blessings are so often overlooked in lieu of the blessings we;ve already received. This holiday has become the precursor to the holiday shopping season, but many folks have started that tradition way back in July.
So is it so hard for us to take one day to put the focus on the gifts we’ve so richly been endowed with? The most important being the greatest gift ever given to mankind – salvation by grace alone. In the next three weeks leading up to the celebration, it might be fun to write down one thing you’re thankful for and when you gather for your turkey dinner, read your individual notes to each other. It might take a little longer to get through the meal, but think of how long it took to prepare it.
“God so loved the world, that He gave His own beloved Son, that whoever believes in Him, will not perish, but have everlasting life.” That might be a good place to start.