I am doing a good bit of embroidery since last Christmas when my beloved husband gave me an embroidery sewing machine. Although I am certainly not an expert in using the machine and all its features, I am enjoying my new-found hobby immensely.
We joke that the machine is the “gift that keeps on taking”!
Because of the continuing costs of fabric, embroidery floss, stabilizers, and, of course, embroidery patterns there is some basis for this assertion.
I was looking at new designs and found many with Thanksgiving as the theme, understandably so since, in the United States, we will celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday on November 22.
There were innumerable designs, many with expressions such as:
“In Everything Give Thanks.”
“A Grateful Heart is a Thankful Heart”
“O Give Thanks Unto the Lord”
“There Is Always Something to be Thankful For”
“Grateful Hearts Gather Here”
While it seems that our celebration of Thanksgiving often is more focused on the meal including the turkey, dressing, potatoes, cranberries and pumpkin pie, the real foundation for our Thanksgiving is not food, not even a great harvest: it is in our Heavenly Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
In the book of Leviticus, we read:
“”And this is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings that one may offer to the LORD. If he offers it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer with the thanksgiving sacrifice unleavened loaves mixed with oil, unleavened wafers smeared with oil, and loaves of fine flour well mixed with oil. With the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving he shall bring his offering with loaves of leavened bread.”
Thanksgiving was a part of worship throughout the Old Testament.
“Then on that day David first appointed that thanksgiving be sung to the LORD by Asaph and his brothers.”
1 Chronicles 16:7
“And the Levites: Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, and Mattaniah, who with his brothers was in charge of the songs of thanksgiving.”
Nehemiah 12:8. These folks were specifically set apart to be in charge of the thanksgiving songs of the people in worship.
“The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!”
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!”
Thanksgiving continues to be extolled in the New Testament as well.
“You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.”
2 Corinthians 9:11
“Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.”
“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.”
Thanksgiving will continue even after the end of the age and we are in Heaven with God.
“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.””
Can you hear it? Can you see it in your mind’s eye?
Thanksgiving is not just something that is imposed on people. Rather it is from the heart and it is ranked in the same category as “blessing”, “glory”, “wisdom”, “honor”, “power”, and “might”. Listen as these words are sung in the Chorus “Worthy is The Lamb That Was Slain” as presented in Handel’s The Messiah.
Thanksgiving is due to God because of Who He is and what He has done for His people. Thanksgiving is due to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb Who was slain, because of His atoning work on the cross that paid the price of our sin, satisfied the wrath of God against us because of our sin. Thanksgiving is due to the Holy Spirit for His quickening of our hearts which had been dead because of sin, and for His leading and guiding us as we are being transformed into the image of Jesus Christ.
Make thanksgiving the norm, the modus operandi of your daily walk. Look for opportunities to give our Lord thanks throughout the day, however murky and disappointing it may be. At a minimum you could thank Him for life, grace, mercy, and His unconditional and unfailing love … that should provide sufficient fuel for you to lift your eyes and your heart to Him, even as the day is swirling around you.
Blessings to you as you journey along your walk of faith.
Father forgive me for the multitude of times that I have accepted Your gifts with open hands without so much as a whispered prayer of thanks. Forgive me for the myriad of days that have passed through my fingertips without any acknowledgment from me that the day is, in itself, a gift from You, a gift for which I should be profoundly thankful. Lord, forgive me for accepting the gift of mercy and grace, of salvation and of Your love without even humbling myself so as to bow at Your feet in adoration and thanksgiving for the great work that You did in securing my salvation from my sin. Lord, have mercy and forgive.