Giving Thanks

by Joanna Pierce on November 22, 2017

I vividly remember the Thanksgiving season in preschool and grade school. It was a time earmarked by construction paper taped together to assimilate pilgrims hats, cuffs, buckles, and aprons. Random feathers were tied and glued to more construction paper to feign Indian headdresses, and beaded safety pins on shoes to denote moccasins. We wadded up colored tissue paper and glued it to—you guessed it—more construction paper, to give it the appearance of corn kernels, which were then strung up by some kind of yarn…

We children would don ourselves with these paper creations, take on the role of an Indian or pilgrim, and go stand on opposite sides of our classroom. Then, like a game of red rover, we’d all ban together, walk half-way across the room to meet the “newcomers,” and offer up our paper-constructed items to one another as a gift of friendship and desired fellowship.

In my naïve mind, I pondered how much the pilgrims and Indians loved construction paper. And, they must have had some uber-strength kind because mine always ripped if I breathed too hard…

Trust me, I realize the introduction of the colonists and the Native Americans did not meet this picturesque reenactment. But, if I could learn anything from this role play all these years later, it was the concept of bringing something to go along with thanksgiving.

I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD (Psalms 116:17, KJV).

Thanksgiving in North America is typically anchored on large family gatherings—food, fellowship, and fun. And, everyone pitches in for the Thanksgiving festivities by bringing food, games, themselves, or providing the location for the family to gather.

We all give a little bit of something to give thanks. That’s why it’s called Thanksgiving.

Most of the time, we don’t think about how God truly structured thanksgiving. In the Old Testament, people brought different sacrifices to the priests. So, thanksgiving was about sacrifice—it was thanks, they gave it, and it cost them something.

God expects our thanksgiving, but it isn’t going to be free. Sometimes our thanks is going to be in the form of giving money to a charitable donation or a family in need. Sometimes our thanks will be giving our time serving the less fortunate. But, in all cases, our thanks will be in giving God ourselves. It’s the greatest sacrifice we can give to say thank you to the One who paid it all on the cross. Our sacrifice of thanksgiving for His.

This Thanksgiving, don’t forget that it’s about giving thanks. And, more importantly it’s about sacrifice. What are you willing to give in your thanks?