The Ultimate Thanksgiving
What comes to mind when you think of Thanksgiving? Food? Family? Friends? Football?!
I enjoy being able to celebrate and do those special things – those traditions – that bring back memories and builds new ones.
In the Old Testament, God instructed the people to make time to remember, to rehearse, to celebrate. In addition to the weekly Sabbath rest, He proclaimed feast days for them to purposely remember how He delivered them, how He provided for their needs, how He wanted them to be restored to Him, and how He desires to dwell with them. Our heavenly Abba created celebration and insisted on it!
My heart is to make meaningful traditions as a part of our holiday celebrations. Traditions are an anchor in a stormy and chaotic world. They bring a sense of security and create a sense of belonging as we celebrate together. And they can remind us of what is ultimately important. In the midst of an information and technology tsumani, meaningful traditions give us our bearings and remind us of Whose we are.
When we had young ones around the table for Thanksgiving, we read about the Pilgrims, Squanto, and how God provided for them as they began a new nation where people can freely worship Him. It is great to read and remember their courage, their faith, and their thankfulness. My favorite book of these stories is The Light and the Glory by David Manuel and Peter Marshall.
A few years ago, I was captivated by the movie, The Ultimate Gift. It is the story of a wealthy grandfather who doesn't want his grandson to be caught up in the lure of money, but to develop into a person who appreciates and values the gifts of work, family, friendship, love, a day, dreams; ultimately 12 gifts that he gives to this grandson.
The Ultimate Gift has become my favorite part of celebrating Thanksgiving. I watch it every year, and one year decided to make a simple place card for each of the gifts taught through the movie (work, friendship, love, a day, dreams, etc.) Each person shared what that gift meant to them throughout the last year. It expanded our usual list of thankfulness and enriched our relationships as we heard current stories as well as ones from childhoods long ago. Of course, a discussion about gifts would not be complete without recognizing that the true ultimate Gift is a relationship with God through Jesus Christ His Son.
I encourage you to check out the website and watch the movie (caution: there are some intense scenes that may not be appropriate for young ones). May you and those with whom you celebrate enjoy the Ultimate Thanksgiving!
“Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” —James 1:17
“That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever.” —Psalm 30:12 NASB
Tell me...what are some of the meaningful traditions you celebrate at Thanksgiving?