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Thanksgiving—Let’s Make Sure!

“Gratitude is the sign of noble souls.” 

“What we’re really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets.  I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving?”
~Erma Bombeck

Bewildering at best to be in mid-October, and already see the store fronts filled with Christmas decorations, and various winter-themed sales promotions, when we have not yet even reached Thanksgiving!  One must ponder if the substantive roots of the Thanksgiving holiday have been lost in a whirlwind of self-aimed consumerism or perhaps even ambivalence, where we have likely accepted Erma Bombeck’s satirical quote as a new reality.

“Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds.” 
~Theodore Roosevelt

Our Nation’s pioneers, together with the people of local tribes, understood their dependency upon our Creator, who blessed them with the opportunities to not only live, but flourish through faith, dedication, and hard work.  Together the great cultures joined to prepare and offer a beautiful experience of hospitality and fellowship—manifesting their thankfulness to God who had provided for them.  Rather than a day of self-indulgence, the beginnings of this blessed holiday celebrated in the offering of hospitality, and the experience of fellowship in God’s name.  Giving was the spirit rather than receiving—because it was recognized that they already had received from our Father who is in heaven.

“A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues.”  ~Cicero

When we truly find the courage to live a life of virtue, we begin an amazing pilgrimage of freely living for the benefit of others.  The strength to embark upon this journey must be initiated by first recognizing that we already are endowed beneficiaries of the abundance of God’s grace.  Without recognition and thankfulness for what we have received, we lack true motivation in Christian pilgrimage, and run the risk of slipping into the cynical world of satire rather than substance. 

 “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”
~ Colossians 2:6,7

Let us in this Thanksgiving season return to the wise and virtuous experience of virtuous celebration rooted in hospitality and fellowship, as manifestation of our faithful thankfulness to God.  This is not simply a tradition initiated by our nation’s pioneers, but rather it was their adherence to ancient wisdom, and humble offering of faith… it was not random that God continued to continues to allow His grace to flow upon this great nation.

Give thanks!  The Lord is with you!
Offer hospitality!  The Lord has offered it to you!
Seek fellowship!  The Lord seeks fellowship with you!

May our Lord bless you, our Nativity family, this great nation, and all of mankind as we faithfully give thanks to Him!

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