2020 – We all have experienced a lot this year. Our first ever pandemic (for most anyway), working from home, isolation, homeschooling (when not planned), job insecurity, food insecurity, the death of a loved one, major moves, a contentious election, holiday gathering restrictions…Some have experienced the other end of the spectrum as well: Family dinners, health, love, marriage, scholarships, graduations, new jobs…All of us will relate to some of the above (or be able to add to it) and more than likely when we think about it we will see that we’ve experienced both and oftentimes simultaneously.

How do we handle this as Christians? To what are we called? Since we are heading into Thanksgiving week I thought I’d share one of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions and then encourage us with some helpful reminders from God’s word.

My home church in West Seattle always used to host a Thanksgiving Service. It was always well attended and anyone could participate. Really it was just a gathering of God’s people expressing to one another, to and in front of God what they were thankful for from the past year. I loved this service immensely as a kid and looked forward to it greatly for many years. What is it about thankfulness, gratitude and gratefulness that drew me? I heard stories of loss but filled with unwavering hope and gratitude for the time that had been. I heard stories of reconciliation as a result of God’s transformational intervention. Thanks to God for his goodness, for His provision, for His creation, for His Spirit at work…Young and old, needy or wealthy would share alike and it felt as if it could have been a slice of heaven as God’s people gathered to give thanks.

Regardless of where you have been this year or where you currently find yourself, I know it’s been quite a roller coaster, I want to remind us of a few exhortations that we, as followers of Christ should hold in the forefront not just now but always.

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!
Psalm 100:4

“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!”
Psalm 107:1

Come to him with a spirit of thanksgiving, acknowledge him for his goodness, for his faithfulness. This week, whether you gather with family and friends or find yourself in moments of solitude spend some time coming up with a list of what you are thankful for. To borrow a phrase from Dr. Tony Evans: “God is thee source; everything else is resource” Take a moment and dwell on the fact the almighty, all powerful God of the universe cares for you. Thee source of all that is good has your back. And then, regardless of circumstance: “Give thanks…for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

- Paul Weisz

1 Comment

Maxine Lang - November 18th, 2020 at 10:54pm

I thank the Lord for the Blessings that I have received through this time of stress. I have been blessed with a comfortable home, supporting caregivers, loving family and most of all a God who Grants me His Peace.

All Praise, Honor and Glory to our God in Jesus Name. Amen 🙏