The church I grew up attending sang a little song that said, "Thank you, Lord, for saving my soul; thank you, Lord, for making me whole; thank you, Lord, for giving to me, so great salvation, so rich and free." After I had married, our family attended a church that knew this song and sang it but they had one more verse that sang also, "Thank you, Lord, for each day that I live; thank you, Lord, for the blessings you give; thank you, Lord, for listening to me; for taking my burdens and setting me free." The churches found it useful to teach short songs that would get stuck in your brain and you would find yourself singing it later, whether or not you intended to do so. It obviously worked because I still sing these songs today, many years later.
A more modern song that does the same and serves the same purpose is in our new hymnal at our church. It was a popular Christian song a decade or two ago and was sung by choirs around Thanksgiving time. It is simply called, "Give Thanks". It's words are--"Give thanks with a grateful heart, give thanks to the Holy One, give thanks for he has given Jesus Christ, his son...and now, let the weak say I am strong, let the poor say I am rich, because of what the Lord has done for us." There are multiple repeats in the song. In fact, you can make it last as long as you wish because the repeats can be repeated over and over until finally you end simply with, "Give Thanks."
Thanksgiving is not just a single day on the calendar. It is also a way of life, an attitude, a mental framework to project a positive way of looking at life. Thanksgiving....it is how we orient our lives, how we see our lives as gifts from God and each day as an opportunity to give thanks in the way we live among others. When we get up each morning and have the energy and strength to do what we desire or need to do, that is a gift from God. When we have health as a general condition of life, that is a gift from God. When our lives are generally pleasant and we have the ability to do what many across the globe cannot do as we desire, that is a gift from God. The blessings we enjoy are abundant and each day's living should be a song of thanksgiving to our Creator.
Give thanks this Thursday as you gather with family and friends around a harvest table and eat the abundance of foods we have in our land. The give thanks on Friday and Saturday and every day thereafter as you consider the great gifts you have in your lives.