Increasingly over the last few years I have envied my American friends and their Thanksgiving Day in November and not simply because of the food. With the pressure of consumerism, the Festive Season can so easily be turned into an orgy of unrestrained covetousness and conspicuous consumption. The whole focus in the run up to Christmas becomes what I and other people “want.”
I am sure I don’t need to remind you that 2020 has been a year unlike any other we have experienced. This year we have been deprived of so many things. At times, we haven’t been able to meet family and friends, we haven’t been able to gather together for worship, some big events that we enjoy have been cancelled, and we haven’t been able to travel as freely for holidays. I know for many of you who come from the States not being able to be with family will tinge Thanksgiving this year with sadness. More seriously some of us have lost family and friends to COVID and others have experienced really difficult health problems. This Christmas coming up will be the first for some of us without some of our loved ones.
I am aware that this sense of loss is dominating my thinking at the moment and to counteract them I am going to pretend to be American and have Thanksgiving Day.
Although I probably won’t have Turkey and Pecan Pie (I do wish I could have Pecan Pie) I am going to celebrate Thanksgiving this year. Whatever country you are from I want to invite you to do the same. As we approach Christmas and the end of the year, whether we are from the US or not, I think its worthwhile to embrace the opportunity that Thanksgiving offers us. The opportunity to stop thinking of what we have been deprived of this year, or of what we want for Christmas and instead give thanks to God for what we already have.
Let’s join with David in expressing our gratitude to God
1 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
2 Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.
3 Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the Lord is good and his love endures for ever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.