Thanksgiving: Warranted and Needed!

By: American Decency Staff

It was less than two weeks ago that one of the cities most synonymous with Western culture, Paris, was targeted by Islamic radicals, and ever since the talking heads have wagged their tongues over little else. Yet, with ISIS and the threat of terrorism once again dominating the headlines, Americans will soon make a radical change of focus – from that which we fear to that which we are thankful for.

From a Christian perspective, one must wonder how much we would fear if gratitude was always where our focus lay.

We have so much to be thankful for, after all. America has been safer and more prosperous than many nations of the world. We've had freedoms that many have not, opportunities that many could not even imagine, the advancement of technology in the past two decades alone has made us more comfortable than even the richest kings in humanity's history.

What ancient Greek (or citizen of any ancient culture) could have imagined his ancestors sitting in a reclining chair he did not build, eating leftover turkey he did not kill, watching men a thousand miles away playing a game he did not attend.

What grace has been shown to us to live in these relatively easy comfortable times, and how quickly we take it for granted.

Acts of barbarity like what was done in Paris and what America encountered in 2001 remind us that civilization is not so firmly entrenched in humanity as we would like to believe.

There are still evil people who will do evil things.

But the Christian knows that no matter how chaotic humanity is, God is working something good out of it.

In fact, Paul tells us in Romans that no matter how much we may try to squelch that knowledge, all of humanity knows that.

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. . .  

It is precisely those futile speculations, those dark, foolish hearts, the self-professed wisdom which leads the image-bearers of God Himself to do such wicked things. And Paul tells us that all of that stems from not honoring God and giving Him thanks.

This Thanksgiving we have even more to be thankful for. There are families in Paris who are trying to learn how to live without their loved ones – the victims of ISIS' savage attack.

The time around the table with our loved ones, intent on the many blessings that God has given us ought to be especially sweet this year.

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