“Enter his gates with thanksgiving ….” Psalm 100:4
I am sure you’ve noticed that the holidays have become seasons. Several weeks before each holiday the stores are stocked with items for celebration. Now that the Halloween items are on clearance shelves, the Thanksgiving decorations have taken their place. On the next aisle all the things we need to celebrate Christmas are awaiting consumers with credit cards. By the time the actual day arrives we’ve been so overexposed to it that we are bored with it and ready to get on to the next holiday.
Maybe Thanksgiving gets overlooked a bit. No one dresses like a turkey and comes to get candy at your door. There’s no Great Turkey who knows if you’ve been naughty or nice. No gobbler is going to leave you gifts if you’re on the nice list. Charlie Brown missed the Great Pumpkin, and we haven’t seen it either. The colors of the season are muted oranges, browns, and rusty reds – a limited palette for sure. It is a time for family. And families just aren’t what they used to be any more.
Our mobile society has families scattered across the globe. The success and money driven culture expects us to work on holidays and downplays the need for a Sabbath from the madness. The endless entertainment options have our eyes glued to movie screens or planning our shopping excursion on Black Friday. “Thanksgiving” is more often “Turkey Day”. It is certainly “game day” or “hunt day”. Voracious appetites that have made our bodies plump move us to bake more goodies than we could possibly eat. I won’t complain much about that, but I am asking myself: Does Anyone Stop To Say Thank You Anymore?
Do we express our gratitude and love for one another? Beyond a prayer before the meal, do we take time in our quiet moments to express our gratitude to God who brought us such blessings as family, food, friends, shelter, and freedom? Maybe Thanksgiving is overlooked because it reminds us how selfish, covetous, and materialistic we’ve become. Couched between a candy-grabbing festival and a big pile up of gifts under a tree, I think Thanksgiving is perfectly positioned to be the reminder we need.
Give thanks, friends. Never overlook Thanksgiving.