I call Thanksgiving “The Forgotten Holiday.” Retailers are so eager to get Christmas sales they overlook it and worship leaders are so busy getting ready for Christmas they neglect it.
In hard times when many people are unemployed it might seen counterintuitive to give thanks – especially when you’re having trouble paying the light bill. But 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 says “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
I’ve heard preachers refer to this as “Thank You Therapy” – when we’re thankful for the good things God has given us (try making a list) it’s a bit easier to weather the tough times.
My Dad passed away a few weeks ago after battling cancer for the past few months. The last time he made it to church was this past Easter where he heard me play the piano (he loved watching years of piano lessons pay off!) I had lunch with my Mom yesterday and even though she’s doing good it’s hard to lose your husband of 47 years.
He was a self-made businessman who started a laundomat from basically nothing 30 years ago and built it into something. Over lunch I talked to my mom about how thankful I am Dad left us with a successful business we can easily maintain to meet all her financial needs. She reminisced about all the good times they had building the business. Just one thankful thought like that will be enough to encourage and keep us going for a good while.
This Thanksgiving, what can you do, say and sing that will help hurting people in your congregation find hope?