Dear Friends in Christ,
We were talking at the dinner table recently about Thanksgiving, and it brought to mind the many different people we’ve celebrated the holiday with over the years. We’ve gathered with groups large and small, with family, friends, and strangers. We’ve dined on fine china and on paper plates, with silverware and with plastic service. We’ve been seated at the head of the table and relegated to the kids’ table. And we’ve eaten in dining rooms, living rooms, fellowship halls, and Lord knows where else!
When I think of Thanksgiving, I think of the memories of times spent in fellowship with others, giving thanks for the abundance of God’s goodness and love. The faces have become a little fuzzy to me as the years have gone by, and certainly a number of those people have gone on to the eternal feast of praise in the presence of the Lord. If some of the memories are a little cloudy, the common denominator of the Holy Spirit’s presence at those gatherings is crystal clear. Thanksgiving is the work of the Holy Spirit—bringing people together in praise and thanks for God’s steadfast love and abundant grace.
As you make your plans to celebrate Thanksgiving, I invite you to meditate on Psalm 100—a psalm of Thanksgiving—and consider the connection between joyful noises of praise, giving thanks, and being in community in the presence of God. These are the elements of true thanksgiving, nurtured by the Holy Spirit, and the common thread in the memories I’ve shared above. May they be present at your table this Thanksgiving Day.
Godspeed, Pastor Matt