Remember when the Tonight Show was good? I’m talking about when it was hosted by Johnny Carson. He once said this about Thanksgiving: “Thanksgiving is an emotional holiday. People travel thousands of miles to be with people they only see once a year. And then they discover once a year is WAY too often.”
I think Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday. There are some who are self-righteous who might say, “I don’t need a holiday to be thankful – everybody should be thankful every day – like ME!” Well, ideally that is true. But most of us are not ideal people. So a holiday focused on giving thanks to God isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It is a bad thing if it is the only day a year someone gives thanks to God.
Ephesians 5:19,20 says (in the NIV), “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
This tells us to choose to thank God regardless of our circumstances – “for everything!” And just in case you may think that was easy for Paul to say – remember he was writing this from a prison cell as he was imprisoned for his faith in Christ.
Develop a thankful heart. Thankfulness draws us closer to others. Few things are more unattractive than a bitter, complaining spirit. People are not drawn to one who seems mad at everything. Most of us enjoy being around thankful people. Being thankful helps us draw closer to God. Whenever Jesus took bread for the Passover that was the pattern for the Lord’s Supper it says that He “took the bread and gave thanks”. The word for gave thanks was “eucharisto”. Ever since the 2nd century the Lord’s supper became known as the Eucharist – a time of giving thanks for God’s grace. Remember to give thanks to God not just this Thursday but daily as we look forward to observing the Eucharist this Sunday together.