When I was a child, I loved Thanksgiving. I think even early on I recognized its contrast to Christmas. Christmas was full of complications. Whether it was our schedule, finances, or to do lists, Christmas was full of decisions and preparations to be made. But Thanksgiving – Thanksgiving doesn’t require gifts for everyone; the gift to everyone is simply to be together.
I miss my grandparents, especially my grandma, who so often would be in our kitchen helping with the turkey and fussing over the dressing. I would help, as the oldest child in our family, but I didn’t mind because it was a time where Grandma and I would laugh over our often-imperfect cooking. One memorable Thanksgiving the garbage disposal broke, and there were potato peelings and apple cuttings coming out a pipe in a wall someplace, as everything backed up. There was food debris on a desk, a wall, a stack of books. We just giggled about it. These memories are what Thanksgiving is all about.
It’s also about recollecting the blessings God has given us—a good reminder for us because we renew our trust in Him, looking towards the future. Recalling these gifts is a daily discipline of sorts, one I believe is built naturally into our prayers over dinner together or before we go to sleep at night.
God is great, God is good, let us thank him for our food.
In these simple habits, we are reminded of grace: charis. It’s part of giving thanks, as Jesus did at the table with his disciples: eucharisteo.
I’m thankful for my family and my friends. I’m thankful for my church. I am so thankful for all God has done for me in the last year, but especially for who He is. He is faithful and kind (Psalm 145:13). May He help each of us to grant grace upon grace to others, as He has done for us in Jesus Christ (John 1:16).