Thanksgiving in Canada officially became a holiday on January 31, 1957, when the Canadian Parliament declared: “A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed—to be observed on the second Monday in October.”1
But as we know thanksgiving was celebrated long before it became a national holiday. The origin of this celebration aside, what really matters is that thanksgiving is a simple expression of gratitude, especially to God.
As a family of faith, gratitude and thanksgiving are familiar practices…
“Let your joy be your continual feast. Make your life a prayer. And in the midst of everything be always giving thanks, for this is God’s perfect plan for you in Christ Jesus.”1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 TPT
These verses suggest a beautiful simplicity.
Joy, prayer, and giving thanks…
In the midst of everything.
Thanksgiving comes at a very busy time for Pastors, ministry leaders, and church communities—but, despite the timing, gratitude is a practice of paying attention, noticing, and naming the gifts around you.
“To name a thing is to manifest the meaning and value God gave it, to know it as coming from God and to know its place and function within the cosmos created by God…
To name a thing, in other words, is to bless God for it and in it. And in the Bible to bless God is not a ‘religious’ or a ‘cultic’ act, but the very way of life.
God blessed the world, blessed man, blessed the seventh day…and this means that he filled all that exists with his love and goodness, made all of this ‘very good.’
So the only natural (and not ‘supernatural’) reaction of man, to whom God gave this blessed and sanctified world, is to bless God in return, to thank Him, to see the world as God sees it and—in this act of gratitude and adoration—to know, name, and possess the world.”2Alexander Schmemann
Then all at once we know, those simple expressions of gratitude for people, events, situations, and life moments lead to joy—a continual feast.
Our prayer for you is that you would be surrounded by the Holy Spirit, have moments of peace in the midst of the busyness, and feast on the knowledge that “nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God.”3
1. Kelch, Kalie; Grab Your Boarding Pass. Review & Herald Publishing Association.
2. Schmemann, Alexander; For the Life of the World.
3. Romans 8:39 NLT