Holidays are made for families. Hearts are tugged together, mending hurts with mercy where needed. Elders seem older and slower. Little ones grow quickly, replenishing hope for tomorrow. Mom’s specialty dishes draw ooh’s and ahh’s of anticipation rewarded. For a fleeting moment time stands still. Objects in the mirror of your mind seem closer than they are.
But this year holidays are not the same. Masks, quarantines, social distancing, home as classroom and workplace … and the sad and sudden loss of ones held dear. Nonetheless, Thanksgiving takes its place at our holiday table, bringing with it a challenging, biblical admonition. “In everything give thanks.” Really?
Since words have meaning, perhaps a layer beneath the seeming irony of this command is more acceptable, while still accurate. “In” everything is not “for” everything. And “give thanks” is not “be thankful.” What we find as we peel back the outer layer is this: “In the midst of every situation it’s best to obediently express your thanks to God. Why? Because He has always come through for you, and, being changeless, He always will.
With that in mind, please pass the turkey, and heavy on the gravy.
“And in the midst of everything be always giving thanks, for this is God’s perfect plan for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18