Enter His Gates With Thanksgiving!
Well….Halloween is over. There is a chilliness in the air. The sun has decided to hide behind the clouds. “The chance of snow flurries” seems to be the favorite phrase on every weather station imaginable in the area. And I have now plugged in and turned on a space heater in my office. I think winter has arrived…But you know what that means? Christmas is just around the corner!
Lately, I have been receiving Christmas adds in the mail, watching Christmas commercials on television, seeing posts on social media that Christmas trees are up and decorated, and my nieces and nephews are sending me their Christmas lists. All this is happening while I still have Halloween decorations on my doors, soggy and mushy pumpkins on my steps, Autumn placemats on the kitchen table, and “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” in my DVD player. I guess I am not ready for Christmas quite yet. However, there is one Holiday that I am getting ready for…and that is Thanksgiving!
In school I bet you have learned about the Pilgrims who landed in Jamestown, Virginia, in 1610 and celebrated the “First Thanksgiving” with the Indigenous Peoples of the land. I am sure some of you have made hand-turkeys in class. And it wouldn’t surprise me if some of you were counting down the days until you get to eat turkey, ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, and your favorite pie. But do you know what we are supposed to do on Thanksgiving? I am reminded of the true meaning of Thanksgiving as I think about Thanksgivings from the past. Every year, my parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins would gather at my Grandma’s house, and before we would eat, we would hold hands as we circled around the table to pray. During this prayer we would all say something that we were thankful for. My Grandma would be the last to speak and she would say, “And Lord we are thankful for you and for the many blessings you have given me and my family.”
Thanksgiving is more than Pilgrims. Thanksgiving is more than hand crafted turkeys. Thanksgiving is more than the delicious food and delectable pies. Thanksgiving is about giving God thanks for everything that he has done for us in our life: for the blessings, the smiles, the laughter, the good and bad times, our family and friends, and so much more. Thanksgiving is about saying “Thank you” to God. Thanksgiving is about preparing our heart, mind, body, and soul for what awaits us in the manger. What does Thanksgiving mean to you? What are some traditions or special things you do on Thanksgiving? Who or what are you thankful for?
Before you go to bed on Thanksgiving, I encourage you to say these words from the Psalmist:
1 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth. 2 Serve the Lord with gladness; come into his presence with singing. 3 Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people and the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him; bless his name. 5 For the Lord is good his steadfast love endures forever and his faithfulness to all generations” (Psalm 100).
I am thankful for each and everyone of you! As you get ready for Thanksgiving, whatever that may look like, remember to say “Thank you” to God!
Happy Thanksgiving! Your Friend, Holy Spirit
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