Four Thanksgiving Lessons

18 Nov

As was their tradition, before they ate their holiday meal, Dad read the story of Thanksgiving and how the Indians and the Pilgrims sat down together for a meal. After the story, little Teddy climbed up into his father’s lap.

“Daddy,” Teddy said, “did you know that if we were Indians, you would be a brave and Mom would be a squawk?”

“Son, that is the best description of your mother I have ever heard,” his daddy replied … as he ducked.

As I think about Thanksgiving, and how everyone seems to want the turkey leg, I’m amazed that no one wants to eat a flamingo for Thanksgiving… have you seen those long legs? (Granted, not much meat.)

The story of the first Thanksgiving is controversial, depending on who you talk to and what books you read. Squanto and the Indians of the Wampanoag tribe helped the Pilgrims survive when they were poor and hungry, many dying from disease; and some believe their kindness was not appreciated and repaid because the Indians were “heathens.” 

As I think about this Thanksgiving, I am taking some lessons from my research on this holiday:

Lesson 1 – God takes note not only of what we have, but what we share. We all have a choice about who we will help and encourage. Thanksgiving is a time to examine our hearts, to look at our abundance, and ask God what He wants us to offer to others.

Lesson 2 – We need to remember those who have shared of their time and resources with us, and be careful to express our gratitude. Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to tell people why we are thankful for them and what they have done ~ buy a box of thank you notes and get writing!

Lesson 3 – We need to be sure that we see the kindnesses we have received from others outside our faith. Our response is noted. We need to be sure we respond as Christ would ~ offering gratitude and love. (Remember the story of The Good Samaritan? It was the unlikely man who offered help!) If we ever hope to have an audience to share the love of God with those who do not know Him, we need to be sure we are practicing basic good manners and kindness. We should always do the honorable thing.

Lesson 4 – We need to focus on the Blesser ~ God Himself ~ not only the many blessings He gives.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

– Dawn

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