Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
When you think of Thanksgiving Day, what images come to your mind? Roast turkey? Pumpkin Pie? Watching football with your family? Or… perhaps the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?
Actually the observance of Thanksgiving Day is distinctively an American tradition. It’s common knowledge that the American celebration has its origin in 1621, as the Pilgrims invited the neighboring Indian tribes to join them in a feast of gratitude for God’s blessings. It is typically and purely a religious observance.
For over two centuries now, our nation has observed this festive day by presidential decree (Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1789). But it is sad to say that today, a holiday set aside for devotion and praise has often become a day of devotion to food, football and parades. ( A Holy Day has now become a holiday).
The heart of the Thanksgiving holiday shouldn’t be just going to parades, eating fancy meals or having fun with friends and relatives. It should be a realization of who the source of our life is and where all our blessings come from. Thanksgiving should be an expression of our gratitude, a response to someone who has been with us all along and has provided all our needs in all times.
So, in this Thanksgiving Season, may you find the time to reflect upon your many blessings and acknowledge the Author of those blessings. Above all else, may gratitude be for you, not just a once a year exception to the rule of taking good things for granted, but a daily discipline and a daily delight.
With those thoughts in mind, let me invite you to join our Belvidere Community Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service on Sunday (11/20/2011) at 6:00 pm at the Belvidere United Methodist Church, 219 Hardwick Street. Let us intentionally take the time for real expression of gratitude to God.
May God’s richest blessings be continually upon you and yours!
Yours in Christ’s Service,