A Simple Message of Thanksgiving

By Fin Sheridan

Our American friends celebrate Thanksgiving today. I’ve been lucky enough to be in the USA during this season and it’s a wonderful experience. 10/10 would recommend. Without the commercialisation that can sometimes overshadow Christmas (although brace yourselves, Black Friday is coming), Thanksgiving revolves around family and food which are two of God’s greatest gifts! There’s all sorts of dishes that will add a thousand carbs per serving; sweet potato and marshmallows, thick macaroni and cheese, huge slices of turkey with trimmings and plenty of desserts. My taste buds are exploding just writing about it.

Writing about Thanksgiving is as challenging as writing about Christmas and Easter. There’s a fairly established theme already. No need to deviate or swerve. Now isn’t the time to play it cute: write about gratitude and move on! “But surely the readers want something funny and original?” the voice in my head replies. “Some smart new insight that no-one else, since 1863, has thought up!”

Sadly, 154 years worth of Thanksgiving have left very little unsaid about the subject and so it’s to the obvious that we must return. That’s no bad thing. I won’t presume to know everything about you so let me speak for myself.

“We are the most #blessed people in the world – so we should be the most thankful.”

I’m chronically ungrateful. No sooner do I have ‘this’, then I want ‘that’. I waste energy and time mulling over what I don’t have. The fire of constant comparison, well stoked by social media, leave me hungering and thirsting after other people’s lives. Even this article about Thanksgiving began with me talking about “getting” (although it’s food, so it’s fine right?).

Thanksgiving might not be a British festival but it should sure be our posture. You and I have so much to be thankful for and yet we often find so much more time for complaining. I don’t know the circumstances of your life nor whether 2017 has been a year of plenty or a year of lack for you but I do know this.

If you are a Christian, then you have been given the most precious gift in the entire universe: salvation through grace alone. ‘He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?’ says Romans 8:32. We are the most #blessed people in the world – and so it’s not unreasonable to suggest that we should also be the most thankful.

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