This headline caught my attention. Is this the heart of Thanksgiving? Just a chance to nosh up on the good stuff? An “eat drink and be merry” event with nary a glance in our Provider’s direction.
To be fair, that article turned out to be a recipe for the meal, not a commentary on the holiday! But the title reflects a common purpose for this and other “holy”days.
Too many miss the deep significance of this and other sacred times to stop a while and strengthen our lives in Him. Romans 1:21 reminds us that lack of thankfulness to God leads to futility and darkness of the heart.
It has always struck me that lack of gratitude is the flip-side of selfishness that is eventually self-defeating. An assumed right to a level of prosperity has led to riots and strikes in Europe that only deepens the financial crisis they protest. That anger displaces any thankfulness for those comforts they have; for even the meagre resources of some.
During the last century, a Christian ethic of hard work to rebuild nations after two devastating world wars fostered a growing and stable prosperity. In this century, an increasing sense of entitlement has shifted that prosperity to a rickety foundation of credit. Consistently living beyond our means has created a financial bubble of personal and national debt that threatens disaster across the planet.
Thanksgiving is a opportunity for us to reverse that trend, and begin to rebuild for a stable future. A mounting gratitude to God for all He provides, and appreciation of what we have, can work against the desire to acquire that plagues our culture. And godliness with contentment is great gain.