Looking Back on Thanksgiving

It was on Thanksgiving many years ago that celebrated actress Helen Hayes cooked her first turkey. Before serving it she announced to her husband, Charles MacArthur, and their son James: “Now I know this is the first turkey I’ve ever cooked. If it isn’t right, I don’t want anybody to say a word. We’ll just get up from the table without comment, and go down to a restaurant for dinner.” Then she walked to the kitchen. When she entered the dining room, bearing the turkey, she found her husband and son seated at the table—wearing their hats and coats.

Sometimes after Thanksgiving we look back and think that not everything worked out exactly as we hoped. Some family never arrived…the turkey could have cooked a little less…maybe I should have bought the dressing from Cracker Barrel…maybe the grandkids dinner table should be placed outside next year…

Perhaps an imperfect Thanksgiving can teach us to dial back our holiday expectations and focus on the original idea for the day. In 1623 when William Bradford issued the first announcement of a day of Thanksgiving To All Ye Pilgrims, it was because the original pilgrims recognized that God had been good to them and that they should gather on a special Thursday to “listen to ye pastor, and render thanksgiving to ye almighty God for all His blessings” (words of William Bradford, magistrate for the pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock).

That was back then but—Now ye listen to ye pastor today: We have every reason for thanksgiving each day. That’s why Paul said, “Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 5:20). I admit that there are some bad days when we may find it difficult to obey this instruction. But as a whole, we know that gratitude is a healthy attitude in life and thanksgiving is a positive exercise each day. The one who benefits the most from thanksgiving is you!

So the day of Thanksgiving has passed this year, but a day for Thanksgiving is today for sure! Think about it ye all…

Devotedly yours,
Pastor Ron

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