Happy Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving day, the day sandwiched in-between Halloween and Christmas like turkey sandwiched between two slices of bread. As I was driving on Thanksgiving Eve, I noticed an increased amount of Christmas lights along my route. I thought to myself, where is Thanksgiving?
It’s been reduced to a freezer full of turkeys at the local grocery store. Its arrival is blurred by the passing of Halloween and drowned in the frenzy of Christmas. It seems as if overnight the world transforms from ghosts and goblins to the angelic and magical with nary a mention of Thanksgiving, yet, scripture tells us in this one verse of the importance of Thanksgiving.
The Thanksgiving holiday transports us from the darkness of Halloween to the overcoming light of the Christmas star that announces to us that God has come near. It is a precursor to receiving from God the redemption promises that Christmas brings. Giving thanks ushers in the plan and blessings of God. As the angels rejoiced in the dark Christmas sky that Messiah had come, Paul reminds us that our overcoming Lord is near, therefore we have access to all of God’s promises and provision through the victory of Calvary and the avenue of giving thanks. Thanksgiving from the heart of a believer gets the Lord’s attention.
Yet, it seems so lacking in our everyday lives, well, mine at least. But there it is, sandwiched in between our pleas and the answer. In between our petitions and the provision. Perhaps it is the conduit through which our faith travels to move the heart and hand of God.
And the result of thanksgiving is the presence of God in our lives. And with Him comes peace. The peace declared to the Shepherds and the world. Perhaps that is why our society chooses to diminish its importance because the god of this world operates best in the distraction of Halloween and the chaos of commercialism and greed that is masked as “giving.”
So today, in the in-between, in-between Halloween and Christmas, in-between my petitions and provision, I choose to give thanks. I focus not on food or family, nor fortune or fame. I focus not on future plans or present realities. Instead I will give thanks for the provision of God smashed between evil and good, between being lost and being found, between separation and reconciliation. I will give thanks for the coming of God’s Son to sacrifice His life for me. And my reward? Everlasting peace. Peace in prosperity or problems. In joy and in sadness. In the turmoil, turbulence, troubles and transitions of life. Transcending peace born on the wings of thanksgiving.