First of all, I want to wish all of you a most blessed Thanksgiving. Oh, I know that in many respects it will be a very different one. I really understand that as well. But while it may be very different for many reasons this year, it still exists. The meaning of it still exists.
Jake Tapper, a CNN newsman said recently that Christmas probably won’t happen this year either. But he is so pathetically wrong. Thanksgiving and it’s purpose and it’s meaning always exists and the celebration of our Lord and Savior does as well. Neither change or disappear because of circumstances
Thanksgiving in this nation, since it began officially under Abraham Lincoln, and was codified more by Franklin Roosevelt, has endured wars, economic collapse and now, as before, pandemics. It has, as it did just days after in 1963, endured the death of a president.
It has survived political upheaval. Even in its unofficial beginning, the Pilgrims, who had endured so much hardship, knew that a gracious God had been with them and seen them through. In fact, being grateful to God really almost takes on a deeper meaning when circumstances are not conducive to being thankful.
Many, including myself, will miss loved ones this year and there will be an emptiness. Yet even in that, has not God proven His love and comfort?
Yes, throughout the Psalms in particular but throughout God’s Word, we see a faith and joy and thanksgiving that provides an example for us.
The impending Christmas season is the same. It will be drastically different but the one constant is the real meaning of it. Maybe more than ever we will see that Jesus is the reason for the season. Maybe we can really focus on Him and why He came, being born in a lowly stable, to begin His journey to the Cross to redeem all of humanity, to those who call upon Him. No Christmas isn’t cancelled because of a pandemic but sin is, death’s power is because of God’s wonderful plan of redemption.
I am not denying that things may not feel right this year but please take heart from these words of the prophet Habakkuk, when Israel was going through a very rough time, “though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vine, though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold and there be no herds in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord and will joy in the God of my salvation.” Habakkuk 3:17-18.
We have, my friends a wonderful, merciful, loving God and so much to be thankful for and look forward to. He has given us so much and that includes the greatest gift of all, His self in His Son Jesus Christ. These holidays may be different in many ways but let them be ones where you rejoice, worship and thank Him for all He has given you and what He promises still to give. Praise His name.
One more thing today, I am so happy to share with you that our Jesus DVD project was financially able to not only do Albia and Moravia, but most of Monroe County. God is good. May these dvds bring hope and joy and the enduring message of the Good News to all.