I will never forget the smell of turkey and dressing wafting through the house on the eve of Thanksgiving. I’ll always remember the joy of wiping left-over cake batter from the bowl with my fingers to enjoy its creamy sweetness.
As I think back on Thanksgiving day, however, while everyone in our family would sit along the dining room table lengthened by its mid and end-flaps, eating, laughing and talking really loud, I can’t say I remember everyone taking the time to share what they were thankful for.
Being raised in a home that was Christian in name only, we were doing good if we even remembered to “say grace” (as in bless our food, not call for my aunt Grace). I wasn’t exposed to the “giving thanks” ritual until I saw it on TV. And boy it’s EVERYWHERE on TV. People from any and every belief imaginable in the United States seem to take the time to give thanks for something on Thanksgiving day. After all, wasn’t that what this day was supposed to be about? I guess our family didn’t get the memo.
Moving out on my own, I never thought much more about Thanksgiving. I’d often forget that a holiday was even coming unless I was forced to go to the store a week prior and endure crowds and endless lines.
Needless to say, when I relocated to South Africa, I missed nothing. With it being springtime in the southern hemisphere, there would be no autumn leaves, no cool weather, and of course, no hustle and bustle of holiday shopping. It was just another day for me.
Ironically, friends would sometimes approach me saying, “Happy Thanksgiving” because they knew that I am an American. I’d be so amazed because they would remember something so foreign to them about me, yet it would be so far from my mind.
This is my first Thanksgiving Day experience since my return from South Africa. As I reflected on the tradition of the holiday, I was reminded of the words of Jesus when He instituted the rite of communion. The Apostle Paul says,
“For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.” (1 Corinthians 11:23-25)
With that in mind, let me take this opportunity to make my Thanksgiving declaration. I’ll first just quickly acknowledge my family, friends and loved ones, the support system God has given me. I appreciate you dearly and love you with the love of the Lord.
But most importantly I want to appreciate You Jesus! The Lover of My Soul literally gave up life itself so that I could have it more abundantly. When I think of all You gave, I’m overwhelmed and love You all the more!
Lord, of all the things stored in my memory bank, what You’ve done for me is what I remember most! I remember how You were willing to break so that we won’t have to live in brokenness. I remember how You shed Your blood so that we wouldn’t have to drown in the polluted blood of our
sins. I remember Your unconditional, agapē love…OH WHAT LOVE!!!
For that I give You my honor, my praise, my worship. I give You back what You gave for me. My life is Yours!!!! Take it and use it for Your good pleasure. I Give Thanks To You. Not just today, I give You me…FOREVER!!!!
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
What do you give thanks for?
 John 10:10