Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Entering His Gates

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

This is a verse that has been entering my mind in the last few weeks and this past Sunday was read aloud in our church.

The first time this verse came to my mind was the day after Halloween when I saw no decorations for Thanksgiving. After searching through four stores I found that, other than paper plates and cups, there were no decorations available for sale. But the employees were very busy putting out Christmas decorations.

Has Thanksgiving just become the big foodfest that kicks off Christmas? Unfortunely, for our nation I believe it has. But I believe that this year more then ever we need to return to the thankfulness that the pilgrims had when our country was in its infancy.

As we are all tightening our belts, we need to pull together. There are those around us who are in real need and we may be able to supply some of that need with a joyful heart. If the Native Americans had not shared with the pilgrims they would not have survived. If the same situation was today I wonder what the result would have been.

David, carving the Thanksgiving turkey
As we all go around the next few days preparing our homes and kitchens are we preparing our hearts for Thanksgiving. I found that last night as I got into my bed I was truly more thankful for the clean sheets and warm blankets on my bed. Yes, I wash the sheets weekly, but have never thought about how fortunate I am for them. Yes, I would have a list of things I am thankful for, but had not thought so much of the little things in life that I take for granted. I am looking at my blessings more as we go through these hard economic times.

1 comment:

Lydia McGrew said...

When we were kids I think there were Thanksgiving decorations in the stores--both for sale if you wanted to buy them and also just decorating the stores themselves. Turkeys and pilgrims and such. Those have all disappeared. I assume it is because Thanksgiving is a Christian holiday. Can't be celebrating that, now. I'm almost glad for the emphasis on food, because that keeps _some_ recognition of Thanksgiving in the commercial world--the appearance of turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce in the grocery store.

I spent quite a bit of time in the Hallmark store the other day looking for Christmas gift tags that actually had the words "Merry Christmas" on them. They were surprisingly hard to find. I discovered in a recent early wrapping session that Middle Daughter does not want to put on gift tags that say "Ho Ho Ho" or "Warm wishes" or "Happy Holidays"--which is what 90% of the tags I already had in the house said--but only Christian tags (as she called them) that say "Merry Christmas." They cost a bit more, and I couldn't exactly give them _to her_ as a Christmas present, but I told her I bought them with her in mind, given what she had said while wrapping. She has some more gifts to go, so these will come in handy.

The absolute secularization of public culture proceeds apace.