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There’s a way to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner twice. No, I’m not referring to eating a turkey sandwich in the evening after the football games are over, though that is a fine tradition. And no, I’m not thinking of the leftovers that continue to gratify for days after the official holiday concludes. Rather, I’m thinking about how gratitude can enrich our experience of good things, like those things that fill our Thanksgiving tables.
One of the things I didn’t much appreciate – and that my community didn’t emphasize – was the season of Lent. Perhaps you are in a similar situation. … Whether you are new to the season or are an experienced observer, I want to reflect with you every other Saturday this Lenten season on the above text from Psalm 50.
Yes, I know Thanksgiving Day has passed. The festivities of yesterday are over. Chances are you’ll be eating leftovers today and perhaps cleaning up after your relatives or driving home from grandma’s house.
Nevertheless, today is a day for giving thanks. In fact, every day is a day for giving thanks.
On this Thanksgiving Day, Americans are encouraged to pause and give thanks to God. In his Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1863, President Abraham Lincoln wrote: “The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they can not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.”
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day in the United States, so I have set apart this whole week for devotions on gratitude. Today, I want to consider a verse from Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians: “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (5:18).
I might say that I struggle with expressing gratitude to God. Yet, in truth, my problem isn’t a lack of gratitude so much as a failure to think about God’s gifts to me. When I actually take time to consider God’s grace in my life, when I actually remember the ways he has saved, healed, and transformed me, then gratitude flows quite easily. For me the formula is simple: Time + Remembering = Gratitude.
Beginning today, we’re going to take a short break from our slow devotional walk through Genesis in order to focus on giving thanks to the Lord. As most of my readers know, this coming Thursday is Thanksgiving Day for residents of the United States. It is a day for us to express our gratitude to God for his many blessings. At least that’s the idea.
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