For what do we have to be thankful this year? I am first thankful that I can post my thoughts. To post my thoughts and express my beliefs is, first and foremost, what I believe this day is about. While it may not have been the reason that the first thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621 or the reason for Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation of a national day of thanksgiving in 1863, we have ever reason to be thankful for our freedoms.
But I view Thanksgiving this year with some degree of cynicism. While I am thankful that I am working, I am only working 8 – ½ hours per week and earning less than 25% of what I should be making. I submit resumes and vitas but I don’t hear anything back. But I am thankful that I am working because there are people who are losing their jobs and the signs are that more people will be losing their jobs.
I will celebrate this Thanksgiving with my family and for that I am thankful. But I know of at least 1000 families for whom the Thanksgiving meal that our local churches provided this year will not have to feed them today but for the weekend as well because the food banks upon which they so depend are closed for the holidays. And next week, when the regular routine resumes, there will probably be more people in line as has been the case each week this year. The food bank at our church serves 150 families per week and that number has been increasing.
I have reasons to be thankful. But I also have reasons to be worried. For with Thanksgiving comes the celebration of Advent and the coming of Christ; the coming of Christ should come a celebration of peace and mankind. But I cannot see how, today, when there are so many things working against our being thankful, we can focus on what this day and the next four weeks offer us.
There is hope in Christ and for that we have to be thankful. And with that hope, we need to make sure that others have the same opportunity.