Gobble, Gobble

Gobble, Gobble

I broke my own rule.  I cheated on Thanksgiving.  I was at WAWA the other day and there were posters everywhere for their turkey gobbler. It was lunch time.  I am not a huge turkey fan and so I never eat turkey before Thanksgiving but I gave in and bought a WAWA turkey gobbler bowl.  After I got over the shock that it was $10.00, I sat in my car feeling guilty that I was eating turkey before Thanksgiving.  As with all cheating, it wasn’t all that great.  Way better than McDonalds but the guilt was not worth it.  This has nothing to do with my blog but I wanted to get it off my chest.

I want to be careful today.  Solomon warns, “Say not, ‘Why were the former days better than these?’  For it is not from wisdom that you ask this”  Ecc 6:10.  When I was young we used to have a Thanksgiving service on Thanksgiving morning.  At 10:00 a.m, we would gather together to give thanks to our great God. The idea was that since Thanksgiving is a time where we pause to give thanks to the Lord for his goodness and for being our God, we should gather corporately to do just that.  After all, the day was about him more than about us.  Somewhere, we as a church decided that imposing on family time like that was not what we should be doing.  Maybe that decision was made for us by poor attendance.  I really don’t know. So we moved the Thanksgiving service to the night before or we canceled it all together.  We coupled that with canceling Sunday night worship services so that we could have more family time.  We then canceled Sunday School because of poor attendance.  The Lord’s Day has become the Lord’s Day/Family Day.  

I am not saying that any or all of these decisions were bad decisions. Time will tell.  But I would like to zero in on Thanksgiving and ask this one question, “If the only time we focus our thankfulness to God is for a few minutes around the table where we say what we are thankful for...is that enough to communicate that this day is truly about taking special time to pause and give thanks to the Lord for who he is?”  It seems that this little time around the table pales in comparison to the amount of time we spend eating, watching football or parades, or preparing for Black Friday sales.  I know that this is about a heart attitude.  We gather every week to give thanks and praise to our great God.  We spend time, each day, with God.  Thanksgiving Thursday, for faithful believers, is every day.  So what is the big deal?

So what is it that we are losing?  While Thanksgiving may be, for the faithful believer, simply another day to give praise and honor to God, for our nation, it is still a special day.  They need to see our families gathering together at church to praise the Lord.  They need to know that there are families out there that spend more than a few minutes of their family time in praise and prayer. These prayers of thankfulness to our God are needed as a spiritual preservative for our nation.  We, as believers, often complain how secular our holidays have become but fail to see how we are the ones who have given up setting these days aside for the Lord.

I am not trying to rebuke any family that does not make it to church for a Thanksgiving service.  Circumstances sometimes will not allow attendance.  I am, though, asking you to consider if you have too easily given up some special time with the Lord.  If we as believers are more to blame for making our holidays simply secular holidays?  If we do not take the time to worship...who will?  

Here is what I remember about our 10:00 a.m. Thanksgiving service.  I could not believe that I had to get up early on a holiday.  The one old lady who would give a testimony that rambled on and on for what seemed like a half hour.  Singing old hymns that the pilgrims probably sang.  Wishing I was home watching cartoons.  Hearing my dad giving praise and honor to God.  Sitting with my family.  Learning that worship and praise were important enough to get give up part of our Thanksgiving day.  Realizing that this service truly did change the way that I viewed the rest of the day.  Looking back now and being thankful for the foundation it helped build in my life.  If you are able, this holiday, and every holiday, go to church and make these holidays about him.

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