Devotion: November 20, 2022

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, which may be the case because of my firm belief that “there’s always room for more.”  More turkey and stuffing.  More mashed potatoes and gravy.  More pie.  And more happy days coming—days filled with joyous anticipation, culminating in Christmas Day itself.  Thanksgiving begins the holiday season.  Our gratitude leads the way.

I remember with deep gratitude so many Thanksgivings past–Thanksgivings spent with family and friends across this whole beautiful country that I love.  I remember frosty Thanksgivings in New Hampshire and Upstate New York; warm Thanksgivings in North Carolina and New Orleans; I remember watching the turkey wobble as we gobbled our food through an earthquake in California; and I remember galloping mustangs across the painted desert beneath towering mesas with my friends on Thanksgiving morning at Ghost Ranch, New Mexico.  

Adlai Stevenson once said, “When an American says he loves his country, he means not only that he loves the New England hills, the prairies glistening with the sun or the wide rising plains, the mountains and the sea.  He means that he loves an inner air, an inner light in which freedom lives…”  I feel the same way about Thanksgiving—because it’s more than the food we’re eating.  I love the warm glow of gratitude overflowing my heart:  a gratitude toward our loving and giving God.  I feel grateful for the gift of my life, the blessing of my family, the friends that I cherish, the work I’ve been given, and for having enough of everything in all the seasons of my life.  God has been so generous to me.  How can I not be generous in return?

This Thanksgiving Sunday is the time to return our thanks to Christ our King, to bring our “first fruits” to the house of the Lord, and to pledge our support for the ministries of our church in the coming year ahead.  The motivation for doing so will be love: our loving trust in God—and our loving care for others.  By making this our “first” financial decision, we will find all our other financial decisions coming into alignment by our faith in God’s provision.  It is true that “we are blessed to be a blessing.”  We are called to give back and “pay it forward” as God gives us the means to do so, which is why no pledge can ever be too modest, and why every gift matters greatly to God and to this church.

What is the greatest gift of all?  Knowing  Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, who made himself poor for our sake, that we might become rich toward God and generous toward others, living lives overflowing with joy and peace, where every day is a “holiday.”

May God bless you this Thanksgiving and always.

Pastor Clint

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