I sometimes wonder if our gratitude is headed in the right direction. Thanksgiving Day encourages gratefulness; the majority of which is directed towards friends, family, or some unnamed source. People express what they are thankful for, but neglect to point that thankfulness in the right direction.
“I’m thankful for my family,” sounds great, but who are you thankful to? God rarely is on the receiving end of the thanks giving that occurs.
I like greeting cards, both the reading and the sending. I seldom shop at Target without including a side trip down the card aisle to glance at some of the humorous cards; my laughter eruptions startle anyone standing nearby and embarrass me in the process.
The other day I sifted through the sentimental cards. They focused on thankfulness for family, friends, or the season. A few cards, placed in the religious section, offered a simple prayer. You can learn a lot about our society by reading greeting cards. It seems that God is noticeably absent for Thanksgiving, at least in the card section of Target.
Compare this lack of God in Thanksgiving to the first official Thanksgiving Proclamation on November 1, 1777 by Samuel Adams: “It is therefore recommended . . . to set apart Thursday the eighteenth day of December next, for solemn thanksgiving and praise, that with one heart and one voice the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts and consecrate themselves to the service of their divine benefactor.”
George Washington said this in his first Presidential Proclamation on October 3, 1789: “It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor.”
We won’t find these types of sentiments in the card section of Target! Modern society needs a healthy dose of praise to the “divine benefactor,” our “Almighty God,” on this day of proclaiming thanks.
I’m curious—what have you observed about people expressing thanks during this season? How much of it has focused on God and how much has been directed towards others?
Have a Christ focused Thanksgiving, Susan Gaddis