THE DEBT OF THANKS
Well, we’re coming up to one of my favorite Sundays of the Church Year…THANKSGIVING SUNDAY!
I don’t know why this has always been one of my favorites…it could be because Autumn is my favorite time of year, or that I always got to be with my cousins, etc. on Thanksgiving, or that Christmas is right around the corner. Whatever the reason, there’s something about Thanksgiving that speaks to MY heart and soul in a way that no other holiday does.
I’ve never really had an unbroken “tradition” related to Thanksgiving, each year has been a little different, some here in Anderson, some in Seattle, some in Chicago…followed by a little Christmas shopping the next day. This year, we will be in Havana (Cuba). I’ve had turkey, ham, lobster and even German food on Thanksgiving…who knows what it will be this year. So it’s not the “tradition” that I love so much.
When asked about their favorite holidays, recently on THE TODAY SHOW (NBC)…almost all the personalities working on the show said that theirs was also THANKSGIVING. When asked “why?” they almost unanimously replied that it was non-commercialized, a time with family and friends, and little else on the agenda.
Although I’m not a sentimentalist, that is probably what I love also; the time to just enjoy family and friends and reflect on how blessed I am to be surrounded by those whom I love.
“Thanks” is a word, according to the scripture, that needs to be said often, and out loud, to God and to our friends. Thanks in and during all times and in all situations. THANKS, at the beginning of the day, THANKS at the end of the day. THANKS for the small things and thanks for the larger things.
Why is an expression of gratitude so important to God? I’m not a super-theologian, but I know that when I say, “thank you” to God it reminds me that ALL good gifts come from Him; that I am not responsible for my own provision, really. I am reminded that my mere presence on earth is subject to His whim, and anything that is good in my life is because of Him. When I realize that I love Him more.
When we say, “thanks” to each other, we realize that we are not separate lives, each going about our own business on courses of our own, disconnected from the rest of the world…but in reality are “owing” one another…we are “in debt” to the ones we love, and even the ones who serve us that we don’t know…we are, in short, connected to each other and will not win the game of life without their help.
The one who receives the “thank you” is empowered because they are recognized. A “thank you” is like a little more fuel that cause one to go further, strive longer, jump higher and when we say “thank you” we are using the power of the Holy Spirit to fill and fuel another person for good.
That’s why the words, “thanks” and “giving” go so well together.
“Give THANKS to the Lord, for He is good.” PSALM 136
“Give THANKS to each other, for that IS God.” (RV)