Sermons

Summary: A Thanksgiving message reminding the people to be doers of thanks!

THANKS-DOING

November 18, 2018

It’s amazing to think it’s Thanksgiving time! I know retailers are super excited because this is the absolute longest period of time for shopping. I’m super excited because I love turkey and frankly most everything that goes along with Thanksgiving.

Most of us trust that the holiday started with the Pilgrims, and if that’s what you think, you’re right. I was reading about the start of Thanksgiving. I wanted to make sure my facts were correct. There’s a difference of opinion or fact as to where it really started

I read that Thanksgiving goes back to a 1619 event in Virginia and a sparsely documented 1621 celebration at Plymouth in present-day Massachusetts. The 1619 arrival of 38 English settlers at Berkeley Hundred in Charles City County, Virginia, concluded with a religious celebration as dictated by the group's charter from the London Company, which specifically required “that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned ... in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God.”

And we’ve celebrated Thanksgiving, in one way or another since that time. Of course, Thanksgiving has really kind of degenerated from what was kind of a holy day, not a Christian holiday, but kind of a day of reverence - - to a time when we sit with one another for a bit, check the Black Friday ads and plan our attack on the shopping season. And some simply forgo Black Friday, so they can start shopping.

Even when we have lots to be thankful for, we tend to gloss over the day and celebrate thanksgiving in a perfunctory manner. We simply go through the motions.

As I was reading about Thanksgiving, I learned we are not the only country to celebrate this holiday. There’s lots of other countries celebrating Thanksgiving.

In Brazil, Thanksgiving isn't a national holiday, but it occurs on our same day, the 4th Thursday of November, and it’s called Dia de ação de graças (axsohn de grahsas).

Thanksgiving in Canada started before ours did, and it’s celebrated on the 2nd Monday of October. Thanksgiving is called Jour de l'Action de grâce.

Why am I telling you about these holidays? Because they have a different meaning when you break them down. Literally both mean the same - - -

Jour de l'Action de grâce

The Day of the Action of Grace!

Do you know what I like about the Canadian and Brazilian name for thanksgiving? They both contain the word action. They've got it right. Being thankful is about action.

Sometimes I think we don’t fully understand what it means to be thankful. We tend to think it’s a feeling. We hear people say things like, "It's not that I don't feel gratitude, I’m just not good at expressing it." If that's the case, your appreciation doesn't do anyone much good. Gratitude not expressed is the same as no gratitude. So, in order to be truly thankful, we need to practice more than thanks-feeling, we need to practice thanks-doing.

Thirty-three times in the Bible we find the phrase "give thanks." Most of the time it refers to giving thanks to God, but we are also instructed to demonstrate gratitude and appreciation toward others. Both are necessary. So, how can we show thanks?

If you're thankful - - - - can you say something about it? It sounds really simple. It’s almost too simple, but it’s so important in our lives. And unfortunately, it’s often neglected. Maybe we assume the other person knows we’re thankful, but if they don’t hear it, they won’t know it.

I read about a family in which the children were taught to say thank you when they sat down to eat a meal. Even at home. It sounds crazy, but I get the thought process behind it. Someone did something for you, and you say “thank you” to the person who prepared the meal for you.

It's a good habit to get into at home. When someone does something for you, even something small, how hard is it to say thank you. Personally, I think we’ve done a good job in our home. I don’t think we say, wow! Mom, thanks for that bowl of cereal, but we’re pretty good at saying thank you when someone hands you something. I remember I handed Zachary a bowl of cereal in the morning, he said, “thank you” but I didn’t respond. He looked at me and said, “thank you!” He expected me to respond.

And we should respond, we should be respectful and kind and say thank you. Especially, as we move into this crazy, busy holiday season, can you stop and say thank you to people who are willing to help you, or even provide a service to you?

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