Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. (Colossians 3:14-15)
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in our country. Though the tradition of giving thanks for the harvest pre-dates the Revolution, it was not until the Civil War that President Lincoln made it a national stalwart. As the nation tore itself apart, he called for a day to give thanks and remember that though the world may spin madly on, God is still present and working among us.
Tomorrow the holiday season in our country begins in earnest with families gathering around tables, eating turkey, watching football, and sharing time with one another. Some may remember to take a moment to bless the food or to go around and say what we are thankful for. However, much of the time we forget what it means to truly live into Thanksgiving.
There is a quote on a board in my house this season that reads: “If you are really thankful, what do you do? You share” (W. Clement Stone). Ultimately, in order to truly give thanks, we must do more than speak words in prayer or gratitude. We must develop into people who share their blessings, their love, their lives with others.
At the end of the day, that is what it really means to give thanks. It is something we should do more than one day a year. It is a practice that should be part of every single day of our lives.
Between Thanksgiving and Epiphany on January 6, there are over twenty different holidays – at least fifteen of which come from the Christian tradition. Each is an opportunity to share something with another person. So as we enter into this “Holiday Season,” let us do so as those who will make thanksgiving an essential part of each day ahead. Let us find ways – small and large – to share, to give, to love.