Thanksgiving is the one day in the holiday season about which there is no ambiguity. Store clerks, news anchors, strangers, teachers, pastors, flight attendants, TV commercials, sales people, even government employees can say Happy Thanksgiving without fear of offending anyone. Most everyone can offer some reason to give thanks. For the moment, at least, thanksgiving is not offensive in our culture.
Christians especially have reason for thanksgiving. Our sins have been placed on another so that we can know the Lord of the Universe. There is much to be thankful for. But the most basic reason for Thanksgiving is the goodness and mercy of God.
The simple truth is that if we were not commanded to give thanks we would not. The Scriptures are correct – there is no good thing in us. God’s commands are good and gracious; they tell you and me how to live. And in mercy, they command us to be thankful.
God is good. His love stretches into and inhabits eternity. There is no doubt regarding his faithfulness. I know these things because God has revealed them in his word. I believe them because he has commanded me to do so. With the advent of Christ we see that his courts are laid out before us each day as we walk in his world. The gates to his great city are ever before us. May we honor him by giving thanks in all that we do in response to his glorious commands. Don’t hide your gratitude to God. Rejoice in it as you enter his courts each day!
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.