Thanksgiving Thank-You Notes
Growing up far away from extended family, my family and a few friends who needed a Thanksgiving home would sit down for a Thanksgiving meal of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, veggies, and pie for dessert. We spent the day playing games, watching movies together and, of course, calling family who lived far away. Each Thanksgiving we would go around the table and share what we were thankful for, as our blessing over our meal.
The pilgrims, on the first Thanksgiving many years ago, had a little different feel. They celebrated this day because they survived. The people had made it to the new land and had figured out how to live with the native people and how to farm the land. They built shelters and worked together to make it to that cold day of celebration.
What does Thanksgiving mean to you? Thanksgiving might be a day of cooking all day and finally eating a fantastic feast together! We sit down with family and friends to give thanks for the bounty that has been provided for us. Maybe Thanksgiving is the day to watch football or be with family and friends. Or maybe Thanksgiving is the time to start setting up your Christmas decorations.
Yesterday, as I was thinking about what this day means to me, I received a thank-you note in the mail. The note was from a friend, and she was thanking me for a phone call we had a few weeks ago…but that part doesn’t matter; what does matter is how it made me feel to receive the note. It didn’t have a lot in it but the fact that she took the time to write it and mail it made me feel special. It made me wonder what it would be like to write a thank-you note to God for the many gifts he has given me. What would I say? What would I include?
Many of the Psalms are basically thank-you notes written to God. They are the Israelites' way of thanking God for what he provided to them—thanksgiving for safety (Psalm 91 and Psalm 144), thanksgiving for guidance (Psalm 146 and 23), thanksgiving for forgiveness (Palm 51), thanksgiving for the many blessings (Psalm 136 and Psalm 150), and my favorite, Psalm 100, thanksgiving that we know God. What a true blessing it is to be known by God and to know God. Each psalm is beautifully crafted to express the gratitude the people had for the gifts God gave them.
What would you put in your thank-you note written to God on Thanksgiving Day? Below are a few of mine.
- Thank you for the beauty of the desert, the dry landscape that flourishes reminds me that even in the midst of struggle, God brings life.
- Thank you for my dog, Calvin, for he brings comfort, laugher, friendship and warm snuggles.
- Thank you for my family, who supports each other, laughs together and loves each other.
- Thank you for your church filled with warm and faithful people who seek God in their life.
- Thank you for my morning walks where all is still silent and I can almost feel the Holy Spirit waking us up with a beautiful sunrise.
- Thank you for Jesus, who guides me, walks with me and challenges me in my call and work.
May God bless you and keep you on this Thanksgiving week!