ALSO IN SCRIPTURE
“Those who bring thanksgiving as their sacrifice honor me; to those who go the right way I will show the salvation of God.”
As we approach Thanksgiving Day, it is easy for us to get warm and fuzzy about the festivities that are about to occur. Well, maybe that was true previously, it may be less warm and fuzzy because of the COVID-19 restrictions in place that I certainly hope you will all be following responsibly. Still, the smell of turkey roasting in the oven, stuffed to its brim with stuffing. Mashed wax turnips, candied yams, and other sides being cooked on the stove. All of these scents filling the air and blending with the wafting scent of warm apple and pumpkin pie sitting on the cooling racks.
As a vegan I don’t eat meat or dairy products; however, I am still getting excited about Thanksgiving as well. Albeit plant-based, I am a foodie all the same and I LOVE EATING. There will be aspects of Thanksgiving I miss this year due to the pandemic; however, that does not mean I will be any less thankful.
But as we sit down for dinner on Thanksgiving and prepare ourselves for the feast of all feasts, as we sit down and say our prayers of thanksgiving to God for the abundance we have, let us not forget that a good many people in this world do not have the abundance, or excess (depending on how you look at it), that we have. A majority of people in the world are lacking the very necessities that they need to survive. Heck, this is even true in America too. Many people are lining up for hours to get what they can from food pantries. Many of these people have never had to rely on pantries before but are now because of the pandemic caused recession we’re in.
God gives each and every one of us what we need, but we often end up taking more than what we need in order to supply ourselves with what we want. We saw that in the great toilet paper shortage of 2020. In the process, billions of other people are lacking what they need. Is this because God has failed to give them what they need? No. This is because what God has given to all people has been hoarded by some. The majority of the world suffers as a result of the excessive abundance of a minority.
This is not being brought up to guilt anyone over the disparities of others; rather, it is being brought up as a reminder that praying our prayers of thanksgiving is not enough. God is calling us to something more than empty prayers, God is calling us to act out of our thanksgiving for what God has given us. Instead of praying and eating our fill, God wants us to take our fill and share it with those in need.
In James 2:16, the author is warning his readers of just that. It is not enough to tell someone in need that you are “praying” for them without actively seeking to help fill their needs. That is not to say that prayer is useless, but that empty prayer is no prayer at all…just like empty faith, without deeds, is dead. We are not a people of a dead faith, nor should we be people who pray dead prayers.
So, with all of that said, enjoy your Thanksgiving festivities tomorrow! Enjoy your time spent with your household family and all of the good food and fun that God has given you. As you pray your prayers of thanksgiving, also pray for God to guide you to fill a need of someone who is in need, just as God has filled you. If you do, God will surely not let you down! Remember that to whom much as been given, much is required . Go and bear the hope, healing and wholeness that God wants you to bring to those who need it! God bless and Happy Thanksgiving! May your Thanksgiving be a thanksgiving that counts!
THOUGHT OF THE DAY
A truly thankful person gives out of what there is to be thankful for.
Lord, thank you for all you have given me. Guide me to fill the needs of those around me who are in need. Amen.