Colossians 3:16-17 says,
16 Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. 17 And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.
We have reached the week of November, where our attention turns to cooked turkeys, dressing, pies, and family gatherings for most of us. In 1863, however, our nation was engaged in a civil war that had divided the nation and cost thousands of lives. Abraham Lincoln officially proclaimed a day for the nation to ask God to “heal the wounds of the nation.” Thanksgiving day was formally born.
What always fascinates me about this holiday that I am afraid we miss is that Thanksgiving requires us to take action. Abraham Lincoln asked the nation to pray. Paul tells the church at Colosse to sing psalms and hymns. What if we challenged ourselves this Thanksgiving to move from reflecting on what God has given us toward actions that transform the world around us? What can we do to further the gospel of Jesus Christ?
I want to challenge you this Thanksgiving to go the extra mile. You could volunteer some of your time with the youth or children’s programs at church. You could take a turn teaching Sunday School or join a service organization that is helping build the community. There are so many ways to show our thankfulness.
November 30th, we will celebrate Giving Tuesday, a global event that encourages individuals to give to their favorite non-profit organization. Giving Tuesday, we use our generosity and share a little extra with organizations that are life-changing. I encourage you to consider giving to one of your organizations, or you can join us at the Foundation. This year, we are promoting gifts to our general scholarship endowment and the Willard and Louise Leggett endowment, which assists disabled ministers and their families. Whatever we choose to do, let us remember that we do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.
Thank you for your faithfulness to the Kingdom of God and for partnering with us at the Methodist Foundation of Mississippi.