As we seek to live with faith in God and purpose in life, the warm and spiritually enriching holiday of Thanksgiving becomes more than a special day that we set aside to spend with family and friends. Of course, the traditional holiday is one filled with blessings and enjoyment, and we should experience the sweetness and fun of the day with those we love. Remembering to pray for others is also a hallmark of our faith; by including everyone in our praise of God, we recognize that he has created us and that he loves us all - each and every one.
The Bible takes our thanks giving further by urging us to live a life of active gratitude every day. Being genuinely grateful to God for the many blessings we enjoy is truly a hallmark of the Christian faith, and many scriptures instruct us in praising the LORD always, with great joy. A familiar example is Psalm 100, which teaches us in beautiful language rich with love and grace:
A psalm. For giving grateful praise.
1 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
2 Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
3 Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his[a];
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
As we praise God, let us do so with joy and gladness, deep in our hearts. Recognition of our blessings begins with the realization that he is creator of all and that we share in the gift of life. He calls us into his presence each day, for he is near and attentive. When we gather for worship, we pay homage to his love and omniscient power and grace as community, as instructed in Hebrews 10:19-25 to assemble with others to hear the Word, to learn, to persevere in faith, and to honor and worship the LORD.
Knowing God is the focus of our faith so that we can more fully praise him and more effectively serve him. Being aware of the wondrous blessing of his everlasting love and the enduring faithfulness that will never fail engenders the awe we feel in his beautiful presence. May we strive to extend our own faithfulness in love and grace, and to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday with true gratitude!