As we gather around the turkey, dressing, green beans, mashed potatoes with brown gravy, and the warm rolls, our immediate temptation is to rush into eating. Thanksgiving stands as one of the greatest meals of the calendar year, yet it is easy for us to rapidly move into activity and miss the spiritual significance of the day – the blessing of family, the remembrance of a faithful God, and the worshipful response of thanks and praise to Him.
In Psalms 100, King David writes a psalm for giving thanks, which is worth reading before you dive into the desserts. In Psalm 100:4-5, David writes: “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” From these verses we see three truths for a Thanksgiving season:
1. The Blessing of Family. David writes of “all generations.” Throughout the Old Testament, we read stories of generations of people who have sought to follow God. We see the highs and lows, successes and failures, and good times and bad times. These stories remind us of the stories from older generations as they share their own stories around our Thanksgiving table. As stories are shared around the dinner table, let us remember we are a part of a story bigger than us and our family.
2. The Remembrance of a Faithful God. David calls his readers to praise because God is “good” and “his steadfast love endures forever.” The Old Testament stories speak of a God who is with and for His people. Throughout this year, we have seen His same faithful hand at work in our lives and our families. As our stories are shared, do we recount of how God has been faithful to us and to our family?
3. The Worshipful Response of Thanks and Praise. We have many reasons to give thanks and praise, as David writes. God is faithful to us. God has provided for us. God has rescued us in Jesus. God has brought our families safely together to respond to Him in praise.
This Thanksgiving, will your day be simply marked by a turkey coma, or will your family join with David and the saints through the ages to praise and thank the God who is worthy?
Missions Minister at Christ Church Birmingham
Writer and Speaker