The Pastor’s Piece – November 24, 2019
Fellowship of Christian Farmers
By Kevin Cernek
November 24, 2019
What makes Thanksgiving great? Well, besides the history of the holiday, and the food, just about everything. As a kid growing up and working on a farm, our number one goal was to have the crops in by Thanksgiving. That is still the goal for most farmers today. But more important than that, Thanksgiving was the culmination of a year of teamwork as a family working diligently together to accomplish great things. Things such as setting goals to get a certain amount of work done so we could spend a day at the lake in the summer celebrating by swimming and picnicking. Or, in the winter, it meant working together to get things done so we could go to that same lake and play hockey on the ice. If you’ve never played ice hockey, you’ve missed a real treat – below freezing temperatures, frozen toes, chipped teeth, banged up heads, bruised bodies, wet clothes – what could be more fun? Hockey is one of the greatest sports ever invented.
But more than that, Thanksgiving was always a celebration of family. It meant grandparents at the table with us, laughing and storytelling and after the meal was done, it meant wrestling and rolling on the floor and carpet burns. It was the one meal of the year, where we didn’t have to take a little bit of every dish that was passed, so as not to insult the cook. Yet in spite of that rule being lifted, we always followed it anyway – and we liked everything – even the sweet potatoes! Thanksgiving was food, family, fun, and memories. I feel we’ve lost some of that over the years.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it’s a whole day that centers on nothing but food – no shame and no guilt. Fill your plate and be a hero by going back for seconds and even thirds. It’s all good. After all, Grandma has spent the last ten hours creating and baking a superabundance of delicious casseroles and gravies and pies, timing each one to be ready at the exact moment the turkey comes out of the oven so everything can be served hot, delicious, and at once. You want to be grandma’s hero? Keep going back for more.
Thanksgiving is great because we don’t have to apologize for eating potatoes. “Swapping grandma’s famous creamy, buttery potatoes for mashed up cauliflower sounds like a fantastic idea!” said no one ever. Forget that. Any vegetables I eat this Thursday will either be drowned in melted cheese or buried in brown sugar. Bring it on!
“Eat slowly,” my wife always says. That’s the secret to a great meal. When you savor each bite, the food tastes so much more delicious, it lasts longer, and you fill up faster. So enjoy the moment, the people, the food and the delicious flavors. Enjoy the day. Eat a lot. Then on Friday, get back into your regular routine because it’s a scientific fact that one single meal will not cause an insurmountable weight gain. In fact, for most people it is less than one pound.
Maybe the real reason I like Thanksgiving so much is because it gives us pause to stop and be thankful to our Creator for the many blessings we enjoy. We have so much. And it all comes from God. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights,” (James 1:17).
Author William J. Federer, records in America’s God And Country Encyclopedia of Quotations: On October 3, 1789, George Washington issued a National Day of Thanksgiving Proclamation: “Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor…Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the twenty-sixth day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these United States…that we then may all unite unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country…”
And thus, the Thanksgiving holiday was born.
We have much to be thankful for as a nation. We also have much to be thankful for as individuals because God has made salvation available to each of us. May we remember our Creator and give thanks to Him.
Psalm 33:12: “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.”
“Give thanks to the Lord. for He is good; His love endures forever,” (1 Chronicles 16:34).