We seem to have a lot of Holidays, maybe more than ever. But truth be told we do not hold all of them in the same level of esteem.

There are religious holidays, which I would hope and pray rank very high with most. There are holidays to celebrate famous people- but as we now know that would be subject to further scrutiny. We have holidays to honor our veterans and to commemorate those who died in service to our country. We also have other types of holidays- some noteworthy, others maybe not so much. There is Arbor day but then there is Valentine’s Day. There is Earth Day, but then there is Halloween. And now we approach Thanksgiving – a holiday now present in many nations throughout the world. A holiday with a long if
not somewhat muddled explanation of its actual roots.

Suffice it to say George Washington issued the first National Day of Thanksgiving in 1789 and Abraham Lincoln fixed the date of the celebration in 1863. No two finer advocates could a holiday have.

Giving thanks is a simple task yet how often do we ignore it, put it on the back burner or perhaps delegate it to thinking it so common it is trite. How sad – do not we greet people daily with good morning or good afternoon, is that trite? We ask people how are you? Is that trite or is that just an expression to feign concern and just move on with our day? I would hope not. If giving thanks has become trite and meaningless then God help us all!

Giving thanks is not just a blessing to others, it is a blessing to us. Giving thanks is a humbling act which makes us more human. Giving thanks is an act that will help the recipients of our gesture of kindness to pay it forward. Giving thanks is contagious in the most positive of ways.

There is so much we are thankful for in our lives, our families, and in our church. So much that we can arise each day and go to bed each night with the prayers of Thanksgiving in our hearts. As that wonderful hymn says, Give thanks with a grateful heart, Give thanks to the Holy One, Give Thanks because we’re given Jesus Christ, the Son.

Let us on this special holiday truly Give Thanks.

Milt Fredericks
Lay Pastor of Congregational Care