Thanksgiving not canceled
By Myrtle Virginia Thompson
The Suffolk News-Herald was born before a day of national recognition for the giving of thanks was immortalized. I wonder what the headlines would have been if that herald of good news had been in operation. The newspaper founders must have known the word herald was sourced in royal robes. In the far past, edicts were announced by a herald, an official delegate who went through the streets giving out the information dictated by royalty. Today we depend on our electronic devices to tell us what is happening anywhere and everywhere around the whole of our world.
I was hit with reality when I heard the words “Thanksgiving canceled,” struck by how little giving of thanks must mean to some of today’s leaders. Then I remembered, Oh, they mean “turkey day” activities. Whew! Thanksgiving is always a personal thing and we are still free to voice our praise and thanks to God.
I opened my Bible to the Psalms and Bible writers to see what King David and people of millennia past had to say about the giving of thanks. I found no mention of “turkey day” or sports or other activities, but there was a wonderful Thanksgiving reminder in Nehemiah’s day: “Go your way, eat the fat and drink the sweet and send portions to them for whom nothing is prepared, for this day is holy unto our Lord. Neither be sorry for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10.
That is the Thanksgiving message. We can still have a whole day, a whole lifetime of Thanksgiving, any day, any time. It is a way of remembering God’s blessings on us as a people, as a nation and even as individuals. We can even be alone and thank God. That should be a comfort to those unable to gather in 2020.
In the New Testament, Paul reminded us, “In everything give thanks for this is the will of God…”
What? Give thanks for a virus that has captured and placed us in “no man’s land”? Put us in uncertainty about the future? It is not the first time we have faced incomprehensible situations. The difference may be that when we give thanks to the Creator God, we recognize Him for Who He is. It makes possible our belief that He is actually in control of the world He created. Almost every book of the Bible makes this very clear. We are reminded of the many times the tide was turned from a developing wave that threatened to devour us.
We need some corporate thanks to get past this overwhelming, worldwide chain of events. Let’s not cancel THANKS-giving. God can provide us with freedom from fear and concerns this November when we give thanks to the Omni-God, the all-sufficient One, wise, powerful over the forces of evil, and present when we come to Him with our needs. We don’t need a day of thanksgiving, we need a whole life filled with thanks and praise for what has been given us in this land. Let’s just do it!
Myrtle V. Thompson is a retired missionary, educator and Bible teacher who is still writing at age 92.