By now, you have had turkey breast, turkey sandwiches and turkey salad. In fact, you have probably eaten so much turkey that last night you let loose a gobble. As well, you have probably eaten so much Thanksgiving leftovers that you refuse to open the refrigerator door. In fact, you do not even desire to go into the kitchen.
Thanksgiving Day is a wonderful opportunity to get together with family – even that one relative that gets on everyone’s nerves, and share together those things for which we are thankful and celebrate the blessings, the multiple blessings, that God has given to us.
Now that Thanksgiving Day is over, everyone has gone home (thank God), your house has been returned to normal, you see and feel the impact of those 5 pounds that you have put on, you have acknowledged those things for which you are thankful and the family is asking who will host Christmas Dinner (you know that it will not be you), what do you do?
Acknowledging the blessings of God and being thankful is fine. However, I submit that it is not enough. It is not enough to only tell God that I am thankful, it is important that I show God that I am thankful. I show God that I am thankful when I share the blessings that God has given to me with others. I show God that I am thankful when I create an environment – through my giving – where people experience how loving, and caring, and patient, and forgiving, and merciful, and gracious and compassionate my God is because they experience the love and care and patience and forgiveness and mercy and grace and compassion of my God through me.
From the time of Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day, everyone – even unbelievers – become “concerned” about those who are less fortunate than they are. Therefore, the community will promote food drives, toy drives and many other drives to raise awareness and money for those who are in need. Whereas these drives are beneficial in meeting the immediate needs of those who are without, they do not address the core factors that create and sustain the spiritual, mental, physical and emotional beliefs and actions that keep people homeless and hungry. Additionally, these drives do not address the systematic and systemic underpinnings that keep certain people confined to certain areas of bondage.
Please join me in prayer, and action, as we seek God for our call – both individually and as a church – for how we are to show God that we are thankful by living out our calling in service and ministry to others.
Pastor Martin Childs, Jr. D. Min.