I am not a prophet. In fact, I do not believe that the gift of prophecy is operative today. But I am going to make a prophetic declaration. Actually, it is more of a pathetic declaration. Soon, maybe very soon, the name of the holiday that we celebrate on the fourth Thursday of November will have a name change. It will be necessitated by the fact that there is very little giving of thanks happening on Thanksgiving. This has been coming on for some time now and I only perceive that as time goes on, the situation will not improve.
Historically, the Christmas season began the day after Thanksgiving. But no longer is that the case, nor has it been for some time. Weeks ago the Hallmark channel began airing its Christmas movies. Of course the stores have been in the Christmas mode since the end of the summer. Years ago, “black Friday” sales were on Friday. I guess that name will need to be changed also as now those sales begin weeks in advance of Thanksgiving.
While the above reasons are sufficient to provide a need for a name change, there is one more reason that is far more serious. In order to give thanks, there must be someone to be thankful to for blessings received. Ultimately, God is the source of every gift (James 1:17). But we are living in a day and age where the existence of God has been moved to the periphery of man’s consciousness and consequently, man becomes the source of all things. Wherefore, if we ourselves provide all that we need, why bother saying thank you to anyone else, especially God who we, as a society, are not even sure if He exists. We might as well just repeat the words of the cartoon character, Dora, “We did it!”
So, rather than being a gloomy Gus, let me offer some thanks to God for a number of things that I have been blessed with and maybe encourage you to do the same.
I thank God for preserving my life this past year. Although I cannot recall any life threatening situations that I encountered, I also may have been kept from them so I have no ability to recall them. I not only thank God for preserving my life, but also enabling me to live it to the fullest. I had my yearly physical last week and my blood tests revealed my lowest cholesterol counts in five years. I had cataract surgery on my left eye a month ago and will have the other eye done this Tuesday and I can now see well to read (although my typing has not improved at all).
I thank God for my wife of 43 years and all the things that God has used her to accomplish in my life. She has modeled godliness and stretched me spiritually (as well as physically with all her good cooking). I thank God for the children He has given to us to parent and their spouses who have enriched our lives greatly. Not to mention the grandchildren who put a sparkle in my eye just thinking about them.
I thank God for the vocation to which He has called me and the enablement He has given to me to accomplish it. I have been blessed to be the pastor of the Salina Bible Church for over 27 years and look forward to many more. I literally wake up every morning excited to get to work. I thank God for His Word which is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. I thank God for the salvation that I possess by faith in Jesus Christ and the eternal home that lies before me. I thank God for the trials of life that He purposes for good. I remember saying when I had my heart operation that I was going to be able to experience the grace of God like never before, and I did!
Finally (only for the purposes of this THOUGHT) I thank God for you. Whether we agree or disagree on issues and how life is to be lived, I believe that God has placed you in my life to make me what He wants me to be. I pray that I do the same for you.
May your day truly be a day of thanks giving.