Thanksgiving is a time for our nation to thank God for blessing us with all that we have in this wonderful country. I remember when I was younger how Thanksgiving Day was regarded as a kind of holy day. Our family would all come together and I felt the warmth and love, not only from them, but from God. I felt such gratitude for everything. Ah, but ol’ Satan didn’t appreciate this kind of stuff and got to work. These days it seems that Satan has turned us away from focusing on being grateful to God. He has used our system of capitalism, placing our thoughts on greed. First it was Black Friday shopping and now we have Thanksgiving Day shopping. Yes, it has changed and we can see the result in what is going on in our nation and we as a people are paying for our behavior. Gratitude to God is disappearing. Pleasing God in the way He wants us to live is disappearing.
A few years ago there was a story about a lady who worked at KMart and she just wanted Thanksgiving Day off to spend with her family. KMart had decided they would be open for business on Thanksgiving Day. I thought the responses from the public to this story would be supportive of her, but not one response was. Only a few years before that story I believe people would have been on that woman’s side. Most of the replies I read were ,”suck it up” or “go work somewhere else”. Then some brought up policemen and firemen having to work on Thanksgiving and Christmas. I have family members who have been in both of those careers and I understand how that works. I feel bad they have to work on a holiday, but they are here to protect the public. Opening up the stores is about greed and it can’t be compared to a public servant’s job. My, oh my, yes we have changed. I did Black Friday once, just once. I was in the midst of that “herd of cattle” in the store and just stopped. I was in a Target, and God targeted me. It seems like a spotlight shown down from heaven and I heard this booming voice, “MONTEE, MONTEE, MONTEE, WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE? DON’T YOU KNOW THIS IS NOT WHAT I WANT FROM YOU?” I couldn’t get out of that store fast enough. Yes, I heard God speaking to me and I was ashamed. I had been in a sea of greed, flowing with a wave of people acting like fools over a toy. I left without buying anything. I left empty handed, but God had given me something in that store, some sense.
Thanksgiving is a day we should set aside to focus on God and His blessings, but we need to focus and thank Him everyday. We need to thank Him for His love, His kindness, His patience, His blessings, His Son, and His Word. We need to show Him love and gratitude. My great-aunt Penny would always walk through her house saying out loud to herself, “Thank, you thank you, Jesus.” or “Thank you thank you, Lord.” When I was younger of course I would just kind of think, “Mmmm, okay.” Even when she became blind from glaucoma and had to feel her way through her home, she would still say out loud, “Thank you, thank you, Jesus.” As I got older, I realized that her outward expression of thankfulness to God was what we all need to be doing and maybe she said it out loud to be an example to me. We need to be in constant praise and gratitude to God and our Savior like Penny was, praising Him with Thanksgiving.
Dear Lord I pray that I will show my gratitude today and everyday. It is a sin not to be grateful. Thank you God for aches and pains and thank You for Your healing. Let us not just skip the importance of Thanksgiving and just jump into Christmas which seems to be the norm these days. Let us turn our gratitude and our focus back to You, and away from “stuff”. God please heal us as a nation, You are the only One Who can. You are the only One who can change hearts and minds. You are the only One who can bring us peace and prosperity as a people. —In Jesus’ name, Amen
*A song to sing on the Lord’s Day.
It is good to say thank you to the Lord, to sing praises to the God who is above all gods. Every morning tell him, “Thank you for your kindness,” and every evening rejoice in all his faithfulness. Sing his praises, accompanied by music from the harp and lute and lyre. You have done so much for me, O Lord. No wonder I am glad! I sing for joy. O Lord, what miracles you do! And how deep are your thoughts!— Psalm 92:1-5