Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Psalm 136:1
Thanksgiving traditions, like so many other planned events for this year may be upset by COVID-19. Many family gatherings will either not take place or will happen on a smaller or virtual scale. While families may be distant and spreads of food may be smaller, there are still traditions that can take place. There are two Thanksgiving traditions from childhood that I recall. It was the only time during the year when my father would lead us in a meal time prayer that did not begin with the words “Come, Lord Jesus.” He would give thanks to God for all of the blessings of body and soul that He had provided to our family. Following the prayer and before we would begin filling our plates, we went around the table and shared things for which we were thankful that year. With two boys at the table, the things noted were sometimes pretty ordinary and earthly, but it was good for us to know that those things were gifts from God too!
2020 has seen stress, anxiety, fear, depression, and in some cases the loss of loved ones. However, there are still so many things for which we can give thanks to God. Psalm 136 lays out for God’s people a beautiful pattern as God is acknowledged as the source of all blessings and to whom our eternal thanks is due. After each particular blessing is noted, the Psalmist reminds us “His love endures forever.” While this has been a difficult year for all, God’s love endures forever.
No matter how spread apart and distant your family members might be (across the room or across the country or even across the world), take a few minutes to recall the blessings that God has given to each of you. This year that may be over the phone or the tablet, but it is still a blessing that though we are separated by distance, we are drawn together in faith, so that we might give thanks to God for all of His good gifts. Though we know that we face hardships and difficulties ahead, we can be comforted in knowing that God’s love endures forever. May God bless your family’s celebration as you give thanks for He is good!
Prayer Almighty God, Your mercies are new every morning and You graciously provide for all our needs of body and soul. Grant us Your Holy Spirit that we may acknowledge Your goodness, give thanks for Your benefits, and serve You in willing obedience all our days; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan