The scene is familiar as folks are gathered around the Thanksgiving table. A delicious feast is laid out before their eyes, ready to be heartily consumed. The blessing has been pronounced and the host or hostess announces, "Why don't we go around the table and say what we are thankful for this Thanksgiving Day." There are quiet sighs by some and others shuffle nervously in their seats hoping they are not the first to be called upon. Then one by one people begin to give thanks for the food or being together with family for another year or their home, etc. While being thankful for what God has given us is not a bad thing, when was the last time you heard someone say, "I give thanks to God for who He is." The psalmist declares, "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever." "Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for men."(Psalm 107:1;8) Even Paul in some of the New Testament Epistles gives thanks and praise to God before mentioning the specifics of his thankfulness. "I always thank God for you because of His grace given you in Christ Jesus." (1 Corinthians 1:4) "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ." (Ephesians 1:3) "I thank God whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. (2 Timothy 1:3) The apostle Peter follows a similar pattern, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.." (1 Peter 1:3) It is very easy for us to be thankful for tangible things forgetting that it is God who is the Creator of all things. He is the One who gives us life and breath to be able to work for the provisions that we enjoy and can at times take for granted. James puts it this way, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." (James 1:17) The greatest thanksgiving to God is for our Lord Jesus Christ who because of His death and resurrection gives us eternal life. So perhaps you may want to consider starting a new tradition this Thanksgiving. If your family typically asks what you're thankful for on Thanksgiving Day, surprise them and give thanks to God for who He is and who we are in His Son, Jesus Christ.
A Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving to all!