**This is a re-post, updated. I welcome your thoughts and comments and wish all of you a fun-filled, Christ-centered Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving. A day of giving thanks.
The definition is implied in the name.
But why do we say thank you?
Because something nice has been done for us. Because someone has given us something. Because we are responding to a kindness or blessing that has been bestowed upon us.
In so doing, we are implying that there is someone to respond to.
In the tradition of the first Thanksgiving, the Pilgrims, with help from the Indians (ahem, Native Americans) were able to give thanks to God for his many blessings. For helping them survive. For providing food. For bringing them to the New World where they could practice their faith without persecution.
So today, why do we celebrate Thanksgiving? Some will say it’s just another holiday involving family, food, and football.
But the implication is there– we are thankful.
I can’t imagine what it must be like to sit down around a Thanksgiving meal and eat without thanking the Lord. How awkward. How strange. How sad.
So, for those who don’t believe in God–why are they celebrating Thanksgiving? Who are they thanking? In the spirit of being thankful, what are they thankful for? If God didn’t bless them, then are they eating turkey and green bean casserole in honor of their bosses? Their friends? The bank? The economy? The government? Their own accomplishments?
What exactly are they thankful for? Stuff, surely. But what about the “stuff” that can’t be given by man? What about the breath in our lungs, the ability to wake each day, the family that surrounds us– our very existence?
It just doesn’t make much sense to me not to recognize the higher power in that.
We celebrate Thanksgiving because we are thankful for the many blessings given to us by the only one with the ability to bestow them. Whether you refer to him as God or just Divine Providence, the fact that you celebrate Thanksgiving at all implies that there is one to whom we owe a debt of gratitude.
If they are true to their belief, all atheists should be alone on Thursday, eating cold spaghetti. After all, Thanksgiving is a day of remembrance of tradition–a tradition born out of the idea of thanking God.
Thanksgiving is about much more than being thankful for “stuff.”
I have an idea–invite an atheist friend to your table and thank God for his or her presence and the opportunity to celebrate this holiday while sharing the truth and example of Christ.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Share with me: If you could only choose one thing to be thankful for this year, what would it be?