I’m confident that you love the holiday of Thanksgiving. However, it seems apparent that others are more infatuated with their favorite foods than the grace of gratitude. I confess, of course, I have a fondness for some special dishes too. Don’t you?
However, the greatest part of any Thanksgiving observation whether secular or sacred should be a sense of renewed gratitude. Grateful souls are a pleasure to be around.
In the fall of the year, we are accustomed to celebrations and family gatherings where we observe this national holiday. So what about this Thanksgiving in June business? It appears to be a revived concept by the retailers and foodies among us and that’s okay. Thanksgiving in June does have historical significance.
American history tells about a Thanksgiving proclamation in Charlestown, Massachusetts. With many blessings to count, their governing council met on June 20, 1676, to determine how to most appropriately show thanks unto God. They sensed that it needed to be done soon and nine days later was the date chosen. June 29 was chosen as the official day of Thanksgiving for the display of public and private gratitude. From the text of their original proclamation, it’s obvious that they were keenly aware of God’s tender mercies and keeping grace and their need to thank Him properly.
For the follower of Christ, Thanksgiving knows no certain season (click to tweet). It is not bound to a certain day or month. It is the prescribed lifestyle for those who are members of the family of God whose head is Christ. The older I get, the more I tend to think of this biblical call as a way of life more aptly described as thanks-living. Any time you will but pause and think, you can easily find reasons to give God thanks.
With or without a cornucopia spread, you should be grateful for the tender mercies of God and His keeping grace. An attitude of gratitude is the concept that stands in need of revival and to that end let me encourage your own calorie-free Thanksgiving.
Employing the great hymn book of the Bible, Psalms, let me give you seven passages to meditate upon. As one of my favorite Veggie Tales reminds me, “a grateful heart is a happy heart.”
- Psalm 9:1-2, “I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works. I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.”
- Psalm 34:1-3, “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; The humble shall hear of it and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together.”
- Psalm 69:30, “I will praise the name of God with a song, And will magnify Him with thanksgiving.”
- Psalm 92:1-2, “It is good to give thanks to the Lord, And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning, And Your faithfulness every night.”
- Psalm 95:1-3, “Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the Lord is the great God, And the great King above all gods.”
- Psalm 100:1-5, “Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.”
- Psalm 118:1-4, “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Let Israel now say, His mercy endures forever. Let the house of Aaron now say, His mercy endures forever. Let those who fear the Lord now say, His mercy endures forever.”
Whether your current season appears worthy of celebration or filled with sorrow, gratitude is always in order (tweet this). For you, Christian, “this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Which of these passages resonate with your heart? Have you ever written out a prayer for Thanksgiving? Try it before the year is over and you’ll be on your way to an attitude of gratitude.