April 29, 2014 | by: 0 Comments|
Food, football, and fake plates. That’s what a number Thanksgiving’s growing up looked like for me and my family. We would often travel to Ohio to visit extended family for the holiday, and rather than sitting around a table, we would sit around the TV. Then there were the Thanksgiving hockey tournaments. If we weren’t with unbelieving family members in a smoke-filled house with the TV blaring, we were with unbelieving teammates and their families as some dive restaurant that was open on Thanksgiving. The turkey was always heavily regulated at hockey tournaments, in large part due to an evening game that we were not to be tired for.
It wasn’t a miserable experience by any means, in fact, I quite enjoyed Thanksgiving growing up. The one thing that still remains fixed in my mind though is my parents’ encouragement to share with family or friends something that I was thankful for over the meal, and they encouraged me to especially talk about Jesus and give thanks to God the Father for him. My parents were (and are) proactive evangelists. They know that unless you take the conversation to Christ, it will probably not going to go there. Not only that, they know that if you aren’t giving thanks, then you are likely grumbling.
These days we try to have Thanksgiving in our home. We try to invite family (blood and spiritual), and we try to get everyone around a table. One thing that we always do is share what we’re thankful for and we especially give thanks to God for his Son. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing a week from Thursday, make sure that you give thanks with a grateful heart. Give thanks to God the Father for Christ, and give thanks to Christ for sending the Holy Spirit into your heart, and give thanks to the Holy Spirit for uniting you to Christ and thus reconciling you to God. Whether you’re gathered around a table or a TV, be sure to give thanks.
If you don’t take the conversation to Christ and gratefulness, then who will? If you’re worried about how to take the conversation there, then spend this next week developing a list of seven things you’re thankful for (one for each day), and talk with another Christian about how you might be able to naturally transition a conversation to more edifying things. We have so much to be thankful for – “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:17).
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