In our culture, Thanksgiving is often nothing more than a day to eat lots of good food, and enjoy the company of family and friends. There is nothing wrong with that, of course, but as Christians perhaps we could be more intentional in our expression of thanks. Here’s an idea for cultivating a spirit of thanksgiving that I came across the other day. Instead of waiting until Thanksgiving Day to express thanks, consider naming one thing you are thankful for each day of the month. Perhaps you could write it out on a piece of paper, and each day put the strips into a “Thanksgiving jar.” Involve all the members of the family who are old enough to express themselves. Then, at some point in the day (dinnertime?) each member could retrieve a strip and read it aloud. How about turning our expressions of thanks into prayer to the ultimate Giver of gifts?
Another exercise that might be valuable would be to look up verses in the Scripture that have to do with thankfulness (and there is an abundance!) and meditate on those, or memorize some. The Psalms are replete with expressions of thanksgiving. As the founder of Jews for Jesus, Moishe Rosen, once said, “Acts of true thankfulness transform us…Thankfulness brings us face-to-face with grace.”1 May we be transformed as we contemplate the manifold gifts of God, and as we give expression to our thanks-not just at Thanksgiving, but each and every day of our lives.
1 Jews for Jesus newsletter, November 2012
Submitted by Charleen Bridgman