I think it is easy this time of year to be reminded to be thankful. Even if you were somehow oblivious to the season, having Thursday and Friday off this week would be a good reminder.
I love the thanksgiving season for a variety of reasons and especially for the time with friends, family, and for all the delicious food. However, I think sometimes, because we have the thanksgiving season, we focus so much on being thankful for this one month that we neglect it other times of the year.
I would compare it to Valentine’s Day. If you only showed love and appreciation for your spouse on Valentine’s Day it would be a great day, no doubt, but it would seemingly ring hallow if your love and affection would not extend to the rest of the year. In that same way, if we are only intentionally thankful in this season, we have missed the opportunity to remember everything God has done in and through our lives.
In 1 Samuel 7 we read of a victory that the Israelites had over the Philistines because of God’s continued faithfulness.
Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”
I love this verse because we see Samuel build an alter as a physical reminder of God’s faithfulness and it begs the question,
“What alters can we build in our own lives as a reminder of God’s faithfulness?”
For Westbrook, I think the beautiful building we have is an amazing alter to God’s faithfulness. I know every day when I drive into work and sit at my desk, I thank God for his goodness and blessing on our church.
In my own life, an altar I have are pictures of my friends and family. Each photo is a reminder of the goodness of God who placed the right people in my life, at the right time, and in the right capacity.
In this time of thanksgiving, I challenge each one of us to reflect on our lives and try to find physical alters we can place as pillars which serve as reminders of God’s continued help in our lives. I also challenge us to be intentionally mindful of these alters as we see them in the weeks and months ahead, so that we continue our warm feeling of gratitude to God constantly.
As we sit around the table on Thursday, I hope each and every one of us reflects on the goodness of God, but I also hope we wake up on Friday with still full bellies, in warm houses, surrounded by friends and family, with a heart full of gratitude.