Thanksgiving is probably the least commercialized holiday on the calendar. Perhaps it is because, in spite of the efforts of some who would have us deny our Creator and direct our thanksgiving to comrades and evil companions on this horizontal plane, Thanksgiving has traditionally been associated, in the minds of most Americans, with God—the Supplier of our great bounty.
But last year’s presidential proclamation for Thanksgiving is a good example of how far our nation has drifted from the moorings established by our forefathers:
“We are grateful for our family and friends and for all of our fellow Americans, even those whom we may never meet but rely upon nonetheless. We are thankful for the scientists, researchers, doctors, and nurses who have kept us safe through a pandemic, and for the frontline workers who have kept essential services going by growing and providing food for our tables. We are grateful to faith leaders for their counsel, comfort, and support. We thank our brave service members and veterans who sacrifice so much for our freedom, and the first responders who put so much on the line to keep us all safe. As Scripture says: “let us rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances.” This is a special time in the greatest country on Earth, so let us be grateful. America is a great Nation because we are a good people. This holiday, we celebrate all that brings us together, grounded in history and our shared hopes for the future.”
What is the missing element? It is God—who created and sustains all that is, and upon whom we are utterly dependent. While we are certainly grateful to those who serve us, we must acknowledge that America was great because America served a Great God. Americans have done great things because of their dependence upon their Great God. Thanksgiving is about God!
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. (James 1:17)”