Celebrating Thanksgiving Differently

Welcome to another week!

This Thursday is Thanksgiving. When you think about Thanksgiving, what do you see in your mind’s eye? Most people see a table laden with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. Some people might imagine Pilgrims and American Indians eating a meal together way back in the 1600s. When I think of Thanksgiving, I see both images in my mind.

You’ve heard that actions speak louder than words. Thanksgiving is definitely a Christian holiday. As followers of Jesus, how can we celebrate Thanksgiving differently than the secular world does? I have a few suggestions.

Most importantly, take time to worship God on Thanksgiving morning before the day gets away from you. Read a Psalm that gives praise to God. I recommend Psalm 100. Pray for the needy.

Think about the Pilgrims and how they traveled to the New World to escape religious persecution. They wanted a place where they could worship God in the way they thought was right. Honoring God on Thanksgiving morning is a way of showing your gratitude to the same God the Pilgrims worshipped.

Write a thank-you note to God, listing the blessings he’s showered on you this year. If you have trouble getting started, consider thanking God for clean drinking water, the privilege of attending church without fear of persecution, and the 60-degree days he’s given us this November.

If you want to do more to show your gratitude to God and celebrate Thanksgiving differently, see if you can attend a Thanksgiving Eve service. Donate to a local food pantry. And one more thing: refuse to shop on this holy day. Don’t support stores that force employees to leave their families on Thanksgiving just to give bargain hunters a few extra hours to shop. Sorry if this ruffles your feathers. I simply see Thanksgiving as a holy day, one that should be spent thanking God and enjoying the blessings of good food and family. Shopping can wait.

Have a wonderful week. Blessings!