It’s no secret that my favorite holiday of the year is Thanksgiving Day. It is a day uniquely associated in my thinking of what it means to be an American. We give thanks to God for his providence, provision, and protection for this past year. Not all Americans will give thanks to God but most Americans recognize the truly Christian significance that we attach to this national holiday.
We remember 400 years ago a tiny group of people sailed across the stormy Atlantic Ocean and anchored off the coast of Massachusetts. After pledging themselves to God and one another, they rowed to shore to establish the Plymouth Plantation. It was hard year of deprivation, sickness, suffering, and death. The tiny number dwindled as graves were dug for loved ones who didn’t survive the winter. Their faith was tested. Yet after their first harvest in 1621, they invited their Indian neighbors to a great feast to give thanks to Almighty God.
I’m sure this year, we can more closely identify with that Pilgrim Thanksgiving, 399 years ago! The Coronavirus has affected all of us. Yet through it all the pandemic, the politics, the quarantine, and painfully the deaths, God has been faithful. I will sing with great joy, “Great is Thy Faithfulness,” in our Thanksgiving Service, November 24. My memories of this past year are colored by thanksgiving and grief, joy and sorrow, healing and death. Yet, I proclaim through it all, I have learned once again, I can trust in Jesus!
Yesterday, we officially began 14 Days of Thanksgiving at Woodland Church. Please go to our Facebook Page and post each day something that you are grateful for. Don’t make the mistake of trying to think of something big. Jesus often spoke of little things. Things like seed, a cup of water, birds, trees, bread and fish.
It is the small things that make the big moments of life. Like my grandsons’ smile, my wife’s hand on mine, a call from my children, the encouragement of a parishioner after a challenging Sunday morning message, a cup of coffee and a book, a brisk walk in the Autumn, the sunshine outside today. I’m sure you get what I’m saying. We miss the important moments of life by ignoring the small things.
Therefore, let me encourage you to keep your eyes and heart open to the small things that make you grateful.
I’m looking forward to our prayer service Saturday night at 6:00 on Facebook and to Sunday morning services at Woodland. My message is 14 Days of Thanksgiving!
I love you so much!
Your Thankful Pastor and Friend