By Pastor Michael Harman
St. Johns Lutheran Church
Thank who? You. To say thank you is to have gratitude or appreciation for something, but, all thanks is directed at some giver.
For example, I’m thankful for my car. Really. But who am I thankful TO? Maybe the designers, those who dug and refined the metals, the workers who built it, the transport truck that brought it to the car lot, the salesman, or a number of other people in the “supply chain.” I’m thankful I had money to buy it and maintain it, thanks to mechanics and other people. The supply chain is breaking down right now, and I’m thankful for the parts that still work.
Yes, I’m thankful. I have good friends and neighbors here in beautiful, Southeast Minnesota. We have clean water, fresh air, and an occasional whiff of wood smoke when the air gets chilly.
Thankful. Good roads to see family this week, and construction workers. The friendly folks at filling stations. Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, surgeons, receptionists, physical therapists, janitors, and all people in our health care system. Dentists, funeral home workers, and others who are doing things that are needed, but I would not like to do. For firemen, police, rescue workers, the military and so many others God uses to help and protect us. I’m sure I missed a few.
If there’s turkey and trimmings, I thank our Father for farmers and processors, and for the abundance our LORD has blest our land with. Some churches even have free Thanksgiving dinners open to others. But even if it’s just hotdogs and chips, I still give thanks to the Lord. And I’m thankful for opportunities to help others in this economy.
I’m thankful for eyes to read this devotion and a mind to process it, for ears to hear the laughter of my grandson, for the smells and tastes, the feel of a good hug (we can do that again now!), the challenge of a board game or the “turkey-tryptophan nap” after the feast, memories of loved ones absent, and so much more.
We can (and do) complain about a lot. I thank God for that freedom in America.
But I’m most of all thankful to the LORD. He put all these people on earth, gives us talents and resources, and enables us to serve other people. Including me! So, bottom line, I am thankful to our Heavenly Father for my car. But I am most thankful for our Heavenly Father sending His Holy Spirit to call me to faith in Jesus Christ, the gift I need the most. And He keeps me as His own dear child by the power of His Word. This full, perfect pardon and peace is given to me as a free gift, based entirely on Christ’s cross and not me. And He offers it to you, too! God is the Giver of every good gift. Psalm 136. “O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good, and His mercy endures forever.” Have a blessed Thanksgiving!