First of all, Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you’re enjoying family and good food, and taking a bit of time to acknowledge all of the ways in which we’ve been blessed by God. This time a year, I hear a lot of talk about remembering what we’re thankful for, which is great. But I heard a great homily the other day at CIC, about how what often gets glossed over in our culture is Who we’re thanking.
Traditionally, of course, Thanksgiving was a religious holiday. It’s actually a bit ironic, given how anti-liturgical the early pilgrims were, that one of their most lasting contributions to society is a quasi-liturgical holiday. These were the folks who hated Christmas, after all. In its original form, the purpose of the holiday was clear: we took a day to thank God for everything He’d blessed us with.
But as our culture moves away from God, Thanksgiving makes less and less sense. If we’re not thanking God, who are we thanking? Ourselves, for being so prosperous? We seem to be at risk of turning “thankful” into a word that means nothing more than “happy” or “lucky.” Thankfulness is a recognition of another’s generosity, it’s a showing of gratitude. To be thankful, we need to recognize Who we’re thanking. This is a great day to do that. Count your blessing, but don’t forget to thank the Source of your blessings.