Don't Forget the "Thanks"in your Thanksgiving Day

In Children’s Church this past Sunday, the kids and I discussed all the many things we have to be thankful for and how we’re all looking forward to spending time with special people in our family to eat a wonderfully prepared meal.  We also discussed the 10 lepers that Jesus healed in Luke 17:11-19. You’ll recall that he healed 10 lepers and sent them on their way to tell the priests, but only one leper remembered to say thank you for the blessings bestowed upon him.

I’m sure that many thank yous will be shared at your Thanksgiving table this year.  I hope each one of your guests has a chance to express what they are particularly thankful for.  If that’s not something you practice, it’s a great tradition and sometimes leaves some memorable answers when younger ones are allowed to participate (especially if they’re not feeling particularly thankful at the moment).

No discussion about Thanksgiving is complete without reflecting on the first Thanksgiving when the Pilgrims expressed their thanks to God for bringing them safely to this new land of our great nation.  Things were hard for the pilgrims, especially during the first cold winter when they didn’t always have sufficient shelters or a steady food supply.  Many times they were forced to ration themselves to just five kernels of corn.  Think about that, that’s an incredibly small portion for a meal, let alone a day’s rations.  (We made up bags for the kids in Children’s Church that contained five pieces of corn to help them remember the rations the pilgrims received.) Once spring came, the pilgrims were able to grow a sufficient supply of corn to feed them throughout the winter ahead.  The pilgrims were so thankful for all that had been given to them they decided to have a Thanksgiving feast. Since they wanted to remain thankful for all God had provided, they placed five kernels of corn by their place settings every Thanksgiving thereafter.  Each piece of corn had significance.

Five Blessings We Are Thankful For                                
The first kernel reminds us of the beauty of God’s creation.

The second kernel reminds us of our love for each other.

The third kernel reminds us of God’s love and care for us–God gives us all we need.

The fourth kernel reminds us of our friends.

The fifth kernel reminds us that God hears our prayers.

Dear God, we give thanks to you for the plentitude of blessing bestowed upon us.  Help us to remember to say thank you for those that have been a blessing to us and encourage us to be a blessing to others.  In your name we pray, Amen.

Wendy Saatoff

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