Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Day

(Sirach 50:22-24; I Corinthians 1:3-9; Luke 17:11-19)

In one episode of “The Simpsons” Bart is to lead the family in grace before dinner. He speaks up saying something like, “Dear God, we paid for all this stuff ourselves, so thanks for nothing!” Such shallowness could only come from an insolent youngster or a fool.

Anyone who has thought about the benefits that he or she has must come to the realization that they are beyond what one person or group of people could have produced or purchased. Rather, society has handed over to its members not only a share of material wealth but also the virtues of maintaining them and the secrets of producing more. Yet even society did not receive the raw materials for its products and the inspiration to distribute them with a measure of fairness out of the blue. Although some may dissent, most people recognize that behind all the goodness of the earth there is a Creator God who cares about them.

Thanksgiving Day is the time that the American nation reserves to honor the ultimate source of the prosperity it enjoys. It would be shameful if Americans gave thanks only one day a year. But it is a credit to Abraham Lincoln and perhaps other politicians to have a particular day designated every year for the purpose of expressing gratitude. All of us sometimes feel shortchanged, but we still should have no difficulty raising our voices in unison with other Americans today. We simply have to thank God for the spiritual and material benefits He has heaped on our nation.