Thursday, November 22, 2007

...and to our Father, thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is the most favored holiday for our family. We enjoy being together, the simplicity of a celebration centered on a meal of loving fellowship and the notable lack of intrusive commercialization. Around here, the orange lights come off houses on November 1 and the red and green show up within days of that. Maybe this holiday will escape the eye of the marketers a little longer. Who would decorate their houses with brown lights anyway?

Today is a holiday tradition of simplicity and beauty with legendary roots. Those starving colonists survive in the wilderness due to the kindness and help of indigenous people, then celebrate a feast of thanksgiving before God together with their helpers. Strangers of starkly different cultural backgrounds move into fellowship. The "civilized and Christian" English were dependent on the kindness of the "uncivilized and unsaved" natives. Our heavenly Father is written all over that scenario!

This historical moment is usually rendered as one of the stepping stones that built our nation, and thus we quickly shift the topic of the holiday to the significant prosperity we now enjoy as the reason for our thanksgiving. We do not tend to celebrate the humility that underlines the story. The humble circumstances of natives who lived as functioning members of an ecosystem contrasted with the worldly sophistication of the ability to launch and achieve an ocean crossing. However, despite the colonists' technological and civilized sophistication, they are reduced by starvation into dependence on the aid of others. A final scene in the story is an act of grace, of humility, as both groups choose to join strangers, even potential enemies, at a meal of friendship.

A relationship with the Creator of the Universe is begun and lived by our willful decision to become humble. We humbly recognize the enmity between a holy God and ourselves due to our sinfulness. We adopt the humility of children to enter into trusting Him, and we must consistently embrace humility to reject our sophisticated self-effort at holiness in our day to day walk with Him. The love of God and His holiness is not achieved; it is simply lived through knowing His Presense on earth. We are strangers taken in by Him and sustained by Him. The whole of our relationship with Him rests on His generosity!

I am thankful today for so many blessings, but the greatest blessing of all is God humbled Himself to reveal the Truth through becoming one of us, that we would not be strangers to Him any longer and would be welcome at His banqueting table forever.


Laura said...

A beautiful post. Thank you for reminding me of the humility of that first Thanksgiving and the continuing humility required of us as followers of Christ.

Blessings to you this Thanksgiving,

ded said...

Hello, Laura, and thank you for your comment. Blessings on you and your family as well!

Craig V. said...

Amen to that.

It seems to me that thanksgiving is a spiritual act that is accepted by our culture. That may make it a bridge of sorts.

ded said...

I hadn't thought of the bridge before, but you are completely right!

Veso said...

Well said David, you reminded me why Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday :-) Now if they could just have real 'football' games on that day (soccer to y'all) instead of the imposter that now reigns supreme, the holiday would be even more heavenly ;-)

ded said...

Hey Veso!!!!

What a joy to hear from you! I love this Internet thing. Cyber world is such phenomenal experience. I am convinced this may be the Beast of the future, but for the time being it is awesome to be able to connect with people all over!