Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us give thanks, by which we offer to God an acceptable worship with reverence and awe... (Hebrews 12:29)
Thanksgiving is a wonderfully weird time. Families get together to give thanks, share a couple of frantic days together, and make a mad dash toward Christmas. In many ways, it is a 5F holiday:
Okay, the last one was a stretch, but in the spirit of the holidays, well let it go, okay?
Growing up, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter were all huge family and spiritual celebrations. Sharing multiple generations of faith, it was such a sweet and special time for us as children to get a break from school, get to be with grandparents and cousins, and share in genuine joy.
Like so many things that he has done in the past, the evil one stepped in and tried to steal away the holy joy of our family in these times. We lost a number of our loved ones over the years around Thanksgiving. We had several family crises around Thanksgiving. We even had our house flooded with raw sewage one Thanksgiving.
Sorry, hated prince of darkness, Gods grace and love are better than your vile and putrid attacks. Our source of thanks is rooted in an unshakable Kingdom and a family destined for the glorious reunion with our Savior. Even though each Thanksgiving brings us memories of past sorrows, we keep giving thanks! Why? We anticipate another day and another feast when our Savior is in our midst and every tear is dried from our eyes and all of those who have gone before us welcome us to share in a greater joy.
After the horrible events of September 11, and a host of unknown personal but equally horrific heartbreaks across the world, it would be easy to let the horrors and our deep sense of loss rob us of our voice for thanksgiving and praise. Our hearts do go out with a deep an unforgettable sense of loss for those who perished and the thousands of family members whose lives will never be the same. Our world does seem different and fractured. But we still give thanks. Our Kingdom is still unshakable, our relationships in the Lord are eternal, and our future is glorious. If the stone of death couldnt hold in our Savior, then the rubble of horror and loss cannot bury our hope for a better dawn, a greater feast, and a glorious reunion.
Whether you are in the United States or your earthly home is located somewhere else, please join us this Thanksgiving for a time of prayer and thanks. Prayer for those whose lives will never be the same. Thanks for a hope that is unshakable.
Author: Phil Ware
Publication Date: November 14, 2001