My Philippine friends, whom I love, do you give thanks? I remember the praise and worship group. I remember last year’s graduating class. I remember a line of young men at a special occasion. I remember the little ones. I want all of you to avoid becoming forgetful to give thanks.
Today is Thanksgiving Day in America, the country where I was born. The holiday has quite a history. In its beginnings, there was a sense of humbleness and gratitude that God kept some of our first immigrants from the “Old World” through hard times. The practice became a holiday after quite a few decades. Now there are places around family tables where He is remembered in a similar way, but He is less and less the reason for the holiday. Few people seem to recall or know of His sacrifice to give us freedom from sin and life within. The larger picture is often forgotten.
Our illustrious history is not so pretty. Like other nations, we have had wars within, held people groups in low esteem, and let material things or wealth get way too important. However, we have become rich by the world’s standards in less than three centuries. Are we rich? Our Constitution is famous, but our follow-through on some of its principles is somewhat marred. We often forget the Author of Life. In public schools, He is now forbidden to be mentioned in most classrooms. And, schools are missing so many children, because little unborn lives are now terminated before taking their first breath. Oh my goodness! What have we done? In short, we have become forgetful.
Many of us will gather around family tables today to carry forward the sentiment of thankfulness, but there is also forgetfulness to give thanks in a larger sense that recognizes our Creator and our need for Him to fix the things within us. We need “fixing.” Our history shows it. Yours probably does, too.
What about you, my Philippine friends? Will you forget the One Who gives your next breath? Will you remember the One who paid the ultimate price that you might have life and life eternal? Some of you are, in essence, my daughters and sons. I love you. I would be remiss, however, if I did not remind you to give thanks each day, whether you have a “Thanksgiving Day” or not.
Please remember. Do not become forgetful. Give thanks to Him.
Psalm 100:4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, bless his name.