“Abounding In Thanksgiving”  

Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. - - Colossians 2:6-7

I had a flashback to grade school as I began to think about my topic for this month’s First Impression’s article. I know that it was a LONG time ago, but my memory is that right after Halloween, our elementary classrooms would begin to be transformed toward a thanksgiving celebration. Silhouettes of pilgrim dads, moms and kids began to form a sort of border around the walls of the classrooms. Some years, we, the students, would make turkeys with our hand prints with the chance to color in the tail feathers with crayon. They would be cut out and hung on the wall. In later elementary grades, I remember my art teacher putting out a cornucopia still life for us to paint in watercolor. It was a fun diversion from regular, day to day, study of science, math and . . . as was mostly the case . . . trying to learn how to behave. 

On the Homefront, I remember discussions with both Mom’s and Dad’s sides of the family to make decisions about the actual meals of celebration. Where would they be held? What would be on the menu? (As if that was a decision, it seemed to always be the same.) What time? Which game would be on the TV following the “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?” 

I thought it strange that I don’t remember too much emphasis on being thankful. I am sure it was my own deliberate lack of focus when we arrived at that part of the discussion. However, I just don’t honestly remember. 

Over the past few years and the rise of social media, I am reconnected with a lot of those friends from grade school, family members that I have not seen in a long time, and a host of new friends. I have noticed, over the years, that some have publicly given voice of their thanksgiving to their LORD for the many blessings that they have enjoyed. Some have spent each day of the month mentioning one specific blessing for which they were thankful. I have not taken to that habit personally, however, I do find myself recognizing the favor of God in my life and living out a live of thanksgiving. 

I was looking at references to the word “thanksgiving” in the Bible. It is referenced often in the Old Testament in connection with an offering/sacrifice of unleavened bread. It is often accompanied with singing and musical instruments after completion of a project, . . . or the miraculous hand of God manifested among the people, . . . or even at the end of a day of joy and contentment. There are references that Thanksgiving would be demonstrated as God’s people would live out their vows and promises to God in faithfulness to Him. 

In my devotional time on the word “Thanksgiving,” one verse jumped out. 

I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also. Otherwise, if you give thanks with your spirit, how can anyone in the position of an outsider say “Amen” to your thanksgiving when he does not know what you are saying? For you may be giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not being built up. – I Corinthians 14:15-17 

It is my prayer in response to this verse that genuine thanksgiving flowing out of my heart through my mouth about a faithful, amazing, generous, loving, merciful, gracious, creative God will build up those that God brings in to my life each day. To Him be honor and glory. 

I should have come to understand this concept much earlier. I have witnessed it personally when YOU, my brothers and sisters give word and testimony of your own thanksgiving to God. I have been the one being built up. THANK YOU! 

God be praised!

Pastor Tommy

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