Thanksgiving is this week. It is a time to be thankful for all we have and to remember from whom all our blessings flow. I wonder how many people will gather around a table Thursday and eat an extravagant meal without even realizing for what they should be truly thankful? It seems ironic to me that of all weeks the gospel for the Sunday before Thanksgiving speaks to the consequences of living a thankless life.
Some will be thankful. They will be thankful for living in freedom so they can gather as family to celebrate. Some will be thankful their employer hasn’t laid them off at work like so many others in recent years. Some will be thankful for the family that gathers around them. I suppose there may be a myriad of other things people will be thankful for this Thursday, all of them well and good, but how many will recognize the real source of their blessings?
Like the man of whom Jesus speaks in this week’s gospel lesson we all have much to be thankful for, but I fear many of us will gather without a clue of of just how blessed we really are. We will fail to see the true source of our blessings. The rich farmer was extremely satisfied with himself and all he had accomplished. His crops had a banner year, so much so that he thought he needed to build a bigger barn to hold them all. And, it appears his desire to store up his crops was to make certain he was secure well into the future. And, all of this was without even a thought of God who blessed the crops, the land, and the weather.
How many of us will go to the pantry this week to pull out all the trimmings to cook for our feast and it won’t put a dent in the stockpiles we have? And, on top of that, we will all go the grocery store and buy a bunch more to be sure we don’t run out of food over the holidays.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against celebrating holidays with feasts for our families. After all, God taught His children to hold feasts to celebrate the holy days of their faith. But, when we can live in a land of such plenty that we no longer give a thought to the hard work and sacrifice it took someone to put the food on the market shelves and on our tables, let alone the God who made it all possible, then I have to wonder if we really are thankful for anything, or if we’re just getting together to pig out on turkey, potatoes and pie.
Thankfulness should be ingrained in our being. In a chapter of St. Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians that speaks mostly about death and hardships, he reminds those who are grieving that the hardships come that we may remember to give thanks to the glory of God that is being revealed: “All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God” (2 Cor. 4:15).
I hope you have someone to gather with this week around a big dinner table filled with all your favorite foods. If you feel alone, and have no family with whom to gather, I pray you can find a church ministry nearby that will be offering Thanksgiving dinner to those who are without.
I also want to challenge you to think about your blessings each day this week as you work your way toward that great feast. Try meditating on this verse from Psalm 95 each day this week: “Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods.” (Ps. 95:2-3). The LORD our God is the source from whom all blessings flow. Let us praise him, Father, Son and Holy Ghost…Amen.
Grace & Peace,
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”