Thanksgiving Day offers a time for gathering and gratitude, with time honored traditions and an abundance of food (yes, I'm frying turkeys again). If we don't take time to examine the purpose of the holiday and how it connects with our faith, then we risk going through the effort of traveling and preparing food without achieving what it was intended to accomplish.
It's helpful to remember that when Abraham Lincoln established Thanksgiving as a national holiday in 1863, it was in the context of helping the nation heal. Lincoln implored Americans to give thanks, and while doing so, to also offer "humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience" and to "commend to [God's] tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged."
While we may not be in the midst of a civil war (thank God), there are still things we can heal from today. From gun violence (this week two reports of shootings at a nightclub and Walmart) and immigration to economic/poverty concerns and race relations to name a few areas where God's healing is needed.
While the challenges we face are complex, may we pause on this day of thanks to celebrate God's goodness. May we consider how God is inviting us to extend our blessing outward to the people in our circles and beyond.
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