Sharing Thanksgiving Day 2019
Thanksgiving is a day we usually think of as a day of gathering together as families and friends. We plan large, traditional meals with turkey, stuffing, and sides created from recipes passed down through the generations. We are mindful of the Lord, the Giver of all things. We celebrate this day in America specifically to remember the Pilgrims that thanked Him after their first very hard year here. We all know the story. As children, we learned of this in school and did lots of Thanksgiving arts and crafts, commemorating the Pilgrims’ celebration in October 1621 with the Native Americans that helped them.
That first Thanksgiving was a community event. No one was left out. Rather than gathering as families, they gathered as a community. So, let’s think beyond our home’s safe walls today. We often think of the homeless. Do you know any singles living on their own? Maybe there are young adults or students in your church who can’t go home this holiday season. How about single moms and dads raising their children alone? Are there any elderly in your neighborhood without family close by? Those new to America from foreign lands may not yet know of this truly American holiday and may enjoy the spiritual heritage lesson. I’ve met many over the years that have never eaten a turkey or cranberry sauce.
It’s not too late to find someone that may relish your company today, a little history lesson, and maybe someone to share a football game with. You will have the opportunity to share the love of Jesus with them in the most natural way possible. It is American history and culture to set aside this day to thank our Lord for His bountiful blessings!
“Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples.” (Psalm 105:1; NASB)
“If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person? Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.” (1 John 3:17-18; NLT)
Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:
Thank the Lord for all of His provision to you this past year.
Thank Him for the relationships you have. People are greater treasures than all the money in the world.
Pray for the lonely and isolated in your church and neighborhood.
Are you able to include anyone in your Thanksgiving celebration today? If so, call them up or knock on their door and make that spontaneous invitation.
If you know someone who can’t come to your home due to their health or other limitation, take them a plate and spend some time with them instead. Share God’s love in a practical way with them.
A prayer you can pray:
Father, we are so thankful for this day set aside by government decree specifically to thank You for all of Your goodness. We commemorate the Pilgrims, who had much to be thankful for, as You helped them settle into what would become the United States of America. They couldn’t have done it without the Native Americans who welcomed them to these shores and helped them. Just like those Pilgrims, we set aside this day to celebrate the abundance You provide and to worship You with our families and friends. Let us not forget the lonely and the isolated. Let us consider those that may be alone today, may not have enough to celebrate lavishly, or may be unable to celebrate with others at all. Let our hearts make room for them. Let us do what we can to include individuals and families who are on their own with family far away or non-existent, even if we have to go to them. Let us not forget the foreigners near us who may not know what this day is about. Let us tell them the story of Jesus, as we tell them about Your dream for this nation. Thank You for everything you have given us. Thank You for everything You do for us. Thank You for everyone You have connected us with. Thank You, thank You, Jesus! Amen.
We will make our thankfulness to the Lord known everywhere we go!
From “Give Him Fifteen” by Dutch Sheets: