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Thanksgiving 2016

Dear Church Family,

As we prepare to gather with friends and family to enjoy our Thanksgiving meals tomorrow, I want to invite and challenge you to spend some time thinking about what it might mean to glorify God in our “feasting” tomorrow? As Paul reminds us, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” I Corinthians 10:31. The answer to that might be different from what you first think – it is deeper than simply refraining from gluttony and making sure you pray before the meal. The author of the article below does a great job in answering the question he himself poses: “How can we treat this shared meal as a means of God’s grace for our souls and not simply an exercise in eating? How is a Christian feast distinct from any old American Thanksgiving?” He appropriately states: ““As Christians, we want to learn to feast in such a way that we’re tasting God’s supernatural goodness as we enjoy natural tastes…Most of us have never given any serious thought to what it might mean to feast with Christ-honoring intentionality.

I strongly encourage you to take some time to read and reflect upon what he has written.

You can read the whole article here:

Also, every Thanksgiving season, I am reminded of President Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation in 1863 that made this holiday a national one. I am encouraged every time I read it – to hear one of our presidents so clearly acknowledge and express God’s mercy and sovereignty. I am also struck by how, in the midst of the pain, devastation, and destruction experienced during the Civil War, he remembered the importance of finding things to be thankful for and remembered the One from whom all blessings flow and in that way was able to obey 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.).

I include key parts of it here in hopes it will encourage you as well:

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God…No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

You may find it valuable and helpful to read to your family as a way to encourage discussion about what we are thankful for and as a lead in to a time of prayerful thanksgiving to our gracious God and Father—and finally as a reminder to pray for healing for our nation which is experiencing great division and strife.

Finally, I hope wherever and with whomever you are spending tomorrow, it will be a day filled with joy and remembrances of God’s grace, mercy, and faithfulness,

For Christ and His Kingdom,

Pastor Rich Good

Colossians 1:28-29