Every day will I bless you, and I will praise your name forever and ever
Here in the US, we are celebrating Thanksgiving Day and there is a tradition in which everyone goes around the dinner table and says what we’re thankful for. We are often thankful for our family and friends, the food on the table, and even for the early pilgrims, for they are the reason we celebrate today. But how often do we remember to thank God - the source of all of our blessings? It’s easy to take God out of holiday celebrations. With all the pumpkin pie, turkey and mashed potatoes we sometimes focus on these things (or on shopping tomorrow) instead of the real reason we have everything - God! When we are counting our blessings, we need to remember to give thanks to our loving, merciful and protecting father who allows for us to gorge ourselves on cranberry sauce and settle into a lazy midday nap this November day because without him, we would have none of the other things we are thankful for!
Even if we do remember to thank God during our Thanksgiving meal, do we remember to thank Him all year long? In Luke’s gospel, only one leper came back to show his gratitude for Jesus’ miracle. Out of ten, only one returned to give him thanks. On Thanksgiving Day, many people will proclaim their thanks, but on the other 364 days of the year, who are you more similar to, the one leper or the other nine? I will be the first to admit that I have been similar to the thankless lepers too many times. Good things happen and I celebrate without giving thanks to the One who allowed it to happen, or bad things happen and I forget to be thankful for the One who, even through my bad days, is giving me the gift of another day of life. Even though it’s sometimes difficult to give thanks on our bad days, we need to remember to thank Him for His love and mercy that He shows us every day. We are called to be more like the one leper because he illustrates the need to live every day in gratitude for the gifts and the love God gives us.
To everyone, I want to wish you a blessed and happy Thanksgiving, even if it is not your traditional holiday! Today is a day to give thanks and praise to the Lord for allowing us the opportunity to celebrate this holiday. But we need to also remember that we can’t only give thanks one day of the year – we need to incorporate the Thanksgiving spirit into our lives all year long!