thanksgivingAs we begin the week leading up to our Thanksgiving holiday I thought we might enjoy a couple of reflections by different authors about just what it means to be thankful.  It’s a good way to start the week.

Erik Raymond has written a thoughtful piece called Some Questions About Thanksgiving that begins:  Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I like the occasion of unhurried time with family, friends, and food. This late autumn feast is another reminder of the many good gifts of God. But I also like the name of the holiday. Thanksgiving. What an old but wonderfully curious word. Thanksgiving just sits there ripe for all sorts of questions. What are we giving thanks for? Who are we giving thanks to? How do we give thanks? At my first few Thanksgivings after conversion, these were the questions that occupied my mind. Like stuffing, cranberries, potatoes and pumpkin pie—answering these questions makes Thanksgiving a time to remember.  Read the rest here

Joe Carter blogs about Why We Should be Thankful for the Gift of Gratitude.  Here’s a taste:   Of all the heavenly gifts we have to be thankful for, the most frequently overlooked is the gift of gratitude. From the ants to the elephants, God has poured out his blessings on all his creatures. But to man alone is reserved the ability to combine reason and imagination to express his thankfulness. G. K. Chesterton even claimed that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.

There are dozens of virtues that a Christian should acquire, many of which are extremely important to our spiritual growth. What then, is so special about gratitude? Why should it be considered a discipline worthy of particular attention, and why is it necessary for communion with God?  Because the regular practice of gratitude is a means by which we become rightly oriented toward God. Only when we become truly grateful for what God has done—when thankfulness has seeped into the marrow of our can we fully appreciate who God is and understand who we are as his children.  Read the rest here.