Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Thanksgiving

9:6 The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
9:7 Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.


The above comes from the epistle reading for Thanksgiving in year A (2 Corinthians 9:6-15). It seems to me that Thanksgiving should be one of the holiest days of the faith year, possibly ranking with Easter and Pentecost for Christians. Thanksgiving is central to our faith because it reminds us to consider The Source.

In a world where the highest compliment paid seems to be that so-and-so is a "self made man [sic]" or where we are constantly told to pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps Thanksgiving reminds us that all we have flows from the Creator. In a world where we so often take what we have as a right and/or for granted Thanksgiving reminds us that we have been given many great gifts. In a world where "the one who dies with the most toys wins" seems to be the guiding philosophy Thanksgiving reminds us to pause and count the uncountable gifts too.

But most of all Thanksgiving can lead us from self-centeredness into being a "cheerful giver". Thanksgiving is all about recognizing abundance in the midst of scarcity messages. Thanksgiving tells us that we have more than enough and so what better to do but share it with others. What holier message is there than that? Thanksgiving pushes us to be good stewards of what we have been given. And what is more, Thanksgiving needs to be reclaimed. It is not about gorging ourselves on turkey once a year. Nor is it about an extra day to hunt moose (the Ontario moose season opens this weekend). Nor is it about the Macy's parade in November (for our US-an friends). In fact Thanksgiving is not meant to be a once a year "thanks for all the times we forget to say it" thing. God calls us to live lives that are filled with thanksgiving. God's bounty is around us in so many ways all the year, how can we help but be generous not only in our sharing but in our thanks and praise.

Happy Thanksgiving (and Giving Thanks) to all!

2 comments:

  1. thanks

    wish we had thanksgiving here in europe. harvest thanks is NOT the same at all - and we don't even celebrate that here in Finland.

    but I'm thankful so much this year. It's so good to look back on the journey with God and see his hand of blessing again and again.

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  2. Hi, Gord! Very good essay. Here in the States, despite noble efforts to the contrary (free community meals, food drives and so on), Thanksgiving so often becomes a celebration of gluttony. If people only understood that it's the giving away/giving back of our gifts that truly brings joy.

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