Thanksgiving: A Celebration of Constancy (A Letter)

Dear Church Family,

I sit down to write the annual Thanksgiving letter and wonder how it can be any different than any of the other thanksgiving letters I have written over the past fifteen years? We live in a world awash with change and all things new. There are celebrations for new movies, new music, even new gadgets. With all this fascination with change and the new, how can I change up the Thanksgiving letter so it seems fresh, new, exciting, and worth reading?

But then by its very nature, Thanksgiving is in fact a celebration of what does not change. Farming techniques may have changed and the family farm may have sadly given way to the corporation, but potatoes, carrots, peas, and all kinds of wot not are still growing, thank the Lord, and being farmed as they always have been. We could adapt to life without electricity if we had to. We could adapt to a world without cars if we had to. We could even adapt to a world without motorcycles if we really, really had to. But we could never adapt to a world where there was no provision of food through the growth of animal and plant life. We could never adapt to a world without water. Although we may at times eat things that seem to come from a factory in some big city (and they may even taste that way), scan the ingredients and you will find there is always something, however manipulated, that has been provided by our Creator. Despite all that is new and changing around us we are the same old flesh and blood requiring the same old food and water. Thanksgiving is a celebration of constancy. Thank the Lord for what does not change!

“O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever.” 1st Chronicles 16:34 (NRSV)

And despite all that is new and changing around us, we are still the same flesh, blood, and spirit in need of a Saviour. There have been great changes, great advances in education in our day yet our world still recoils in horror at a multitude of foolish decisions. There have been great advances in science and superb innovation in technologies in our day yet in our world we still find ways to harness such for destructive ends. There have been wonderful new discoveries and great advances in medicine yet people still die like they always do. Despite all that is new and changing around us we still need a Saviour. Thankfully, God still provides a Saviour in Jesus Christ. While we pray and work for change, change that reflects the prayer “Thy Kingdom come,” we thank the Lord for what does not change: His love and provision for life with Him! Thanksgiving is a celebration of His constancy.

“O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever.” 1st Chronicles 16:34 (NRSV)

So here I sit as the same old pastor who wrote last year’s Thanksgiving letter, writing the same old Thanksgiving letter to the same, . . . well the same people. And with it comes the same old appeal for the Thanksgiving offering. And with that comes the same gratitude for your generosity as a church family. Thank the Lord for what does not change!

Sandra, the boys and I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!

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