BY ROBERT HENRE
Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays, and for that matter November has always been a month of thanks and gratitude.
For the followers of God every day should be a thanks-giving day. When we come to realize all that God has done for us, we cannot help but give thanks and praise.
Throughout the month we should be grateful for the blessings that are ours. On the first day we celebrate the saints who have gone before us and remember the gifts which they have given to us. On the 11th day we pay special tribute and celebrate the service of all who have served or are serving in the United States military. On the 15th Muslims celebrate the Islamic New Year. Americans celebrate Thanksgiving on the 22nd, and on the 24th Ashura is observed. It is a day of remembrance and mourning for the soldiers who were killed during the Battle of Karbala. Gratitude is a common theme throughout the month.
Gratitude is a particularly interesting word because it has the word attitude at the end of it.
Gratitude is so important we have a whole celebration around it. Thanksgiving is more than having a grand meal with family and friends. It is about taking time to re-adjust our attitude or to simply focus on how God has worked for good in our lives.
Most people who are negative have little gratitude. In fact, they love to hate things, life or even people! The psalmist wrote, “O give thanks to the Lord for God is good.” If we miss the fact that God is good, we may fail to give thanks. In fact there are people who don’t believe God is good and for that reason they curse God or blame God for the messes in our world.
The message of people of faith proclaims “God is GOOD!” Every time we bring goodness to a situation in life, we are opening ourselves and the circumstance to God.
We lose hope only when we leave God out of the picture. In God there is always hope.
We lose faith when we don’t allow God to lead us or guide us. In God there is always faith.
During this month of thankfulness let us remember our blessings. Let us be open to the presence of the living God. Let us bring God’s love into our daily lives. It flows out of a grateful heart.
May you give thanks and attend your “thanks-giving” place of choice this month.
Robert Henre is pastor of Seabold United Methodist Church on Bainbridge Island. He enjoys youth, roller coasters, travel, “The Voice” and “Revolution.”