After the Meal: Some Afterthoughts on Thanksgiving

In the US, it is difficult, even for Christians, to properly take into consideration all of the things for which we should be thankful.  When all of our needs are met, or can be met with relative ease, this business of thanksgiving may go no deeper than a mere intellectual assent that yes, we should be thankful.  However, thanksgiving, if it be genuine, if it be gospel-oriented, needs to come from the heart.  How do we get it there when it is not?  Three suggestions:

1)  Sit down with the purpose of thinking upon what God has done for you, what He has done in you, and what He has promised to yet do with you as you serve Him.  Health, bank accounts, good jobs, safe neighborhoods, comfortable homes, are great blessings and are legitimate in their place, but when not kept in their proper perspective can dampen heart felt thanksgiving like cold November rain.

2)  Pray.  Include the confession that many times your attempts to offer thanksgiving to God is at a superficial level and that you desire to have a biblical apprehension of all your blessings in Christ.  Ask God to show you the vistas of His grace and the mercy of His kindness.

3)  Sing.  Get out the hymnal or the psalter….not to manipulate your emotions, but to actively engage them with one of the means God has ordained to lift the heart out of its spiritual malaise.

Don’t let Thanksgiving be just about the meal, or an American tradition carried down from our Pilgrim forefathers.  It is a time of feasting, but let it also be a time of truly giving thanks to a gracious and merciful God.

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About C. M. Granger

I'm a firm believer in God's sovereignty, man's responsibility, and a gracious orthodoxy. I love the Puritans and the Reformers, but I don't believe our understanding of theology reached it's zenith in the 16th and 17th centuries. I love the Reformed Creeds and Confessions, but I'm not a strict confessionalist. I'm Reformed in my soteriology (I'm a moderate Calvinist), but not in the historical sense of the term (I'm a Baptist). Some of my favorite theologians/commentators are Kevin Vanhoozer, John Frame, D.A. Carson, Thomas Schreiner, Andreas Kostenberger, Peter O'Brien, David Peterson, Douglas Moo, and GK Beale. The list of dead theologians/commentators would be too long to list here. I think it's important to read widely, to read primary sources for yourself, and to accurately represent the positions of those whom you oppose. I believe it's imperative to have a proper balance between systematic and bibilical theology. I try to never make a round verse fit into the square hole of a theological system.
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