Friday, November 20, 2015

Excerpt from "Beyond Thanksgiving" by Joshua Kansiewicz

"Thanksgiving: the holiday that expresses gratitude through gorging. There can seem to be little room for gratitude between rushing to get the turkey cooked, catching up with Aunt Sally, and fixing our attention on the football game.

Thanksgiving is a food holiday. It is a family holiday. Though it was originally intended as such, it is hardly a faith holiday. In the middle of a deeply critical and pessimistic culture, however, it is still an oasis of sorts. It is a day when Americans remind themselves that the world is not merely the sum of negative influences like shallow politicians, violent crimes and white noise. There is reason to be grateful.

I remember saying grace last year over our turkey and stuffing. As I tried to quiet my kids and cousins, I remember feeling a sense of growing unease. "Is this enough?" I thought. The prayer was genuine, and I was truly grateful.

But as I poured rivers of gravy over mountains of mashed potatoes, I considered gratitude and wished for a better or more consistent means of expressing it. I suspect I am not alone and that many other Christians feel that setting one day aside each year for thanksgiving is not nearly adequate, considering the greatness of God and the graciousness of His gifts.

Fortunately, God has taught us methods of cultivating and expressing gratitude that are far more meaningful and fulfilling than the American "once-a-year" approach. God commands gratitude in dozens of places throughout the Bible. In many passages, God takes time not simply to command gratitude, but also to train us in offering it. This year, as Thanksgiving rolls around, let's take the time to learn more about gratitude."

excerpt from "Beyond Thanksgiving" by Joshua Kansiewicz posted on        click here to read entire article