Thanksgiving: An Opportunity for Gratitude or Gluttony?

According to history.com, “In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. It wasn’t until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.”

The meal has certainly changed from the days of old – with American tables now overflowing with platters of turkey, sides, and pies. An abundance of abundance exhibited in most homes.

Food

My personal favorite is my mama’s cornbread dressing. She starts making it days before Thanksgiving, and I can hardly contain my excitement watching the Macy’s Parade as I wait for it come hot out of the oven before I pour puddles of turkey gravy on top and dive in. And don’t forget the mashed potatoes, crescent rolls, sweet potato casserole, green beans, corn, and pie, pie, pie! At least, that’s what’s on my plate each year.

To most Americans, Thanksgiving is about three “Fs”…food, family, and football. Oh, and more food! Now, I love sitting around the Thanksgiving table and indulging in all the yummy goodness with my family. Actually, I think I like the leftovers even better! (So make plenty of dressing, mama!) But in all of the grocery shopping, baking and cooking, and, of course, eating…I wonder if we have forgotten about the central purpose of this 4th Thursday in November: gratitude.

Are we focusing so much on the other aspects of Thanksgiving that we forget to actually give thanks to God for all that we have? And not just one day a year, but every day? Psalm 107:8-9 says this:

Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind,  for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.

This is truth every day of the year. God loves us daily with an unfailing love. His deeds are wonderful – daily. While He has provided enough physical water and food for us all, sin prevents that from getting to every person. Yet, Jesus himself said, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35). We should recognize these good things on Thanksgiving, and each day that we are given breath. You see, there is always something to be thankful for. Even when it doesn’t seem like it. Thanksgiving isn’t just about gorging on food, but about showing gratitude for all we have. So, have you counted your blessings lately? Thanksgiving is coming. It’s a good day to start. And, yes, we most certainly be thankful for our food!

pie

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  • Scott Sloan

    Great reminder of why we celebrate Thanksgiving

  • ravitchn

    Really?

  • SamVBar

    I am concerned that the good Dr has made this holiday into a day of glutton. I am concerned that many or maybe most do not understand the meaning of the holiday. The concern over gluttony is a real concern but does not apply to all people. Some use the day to give thanks for the day and the ability to put food on their tables. For others it is football and food and very little family. We do need a kick in the pants from time to time to remind us of what the real meaning of Thanksgiving Day.

  • ravitchn

    What makes you think you know the meaning of Thanksgiving? Everyone can find the meaning himself without help from religious nuts.

  • ravitchn

    We should be thankful for our good fortune but not to God who is, if he is, which I doubt, not interested in mankind in any way. He does not hear prayer; he does not punish or reward; he may have created but then he lost interest. As you get older you do not necessarily get more religious, some do of course. But those with brains come to realize how childish is the fantasy of a man with a white beard in the clouds giving ear to our every wish and complaint. Santa Claus is more believable than this God.