We are Without Excuse
by Jim Josephsen
Observed annually in the United States, on the fourth Thursday in
Thanksgiving is another holiday which avails a portion of
America’s labor force the opportunity to take another day off from
work. Thanksgiving pumps up the economy, for the stretch of a week
or so, as
Hallmark-type greeting cards are purchased and exchanged; as an
increase in foods, namely turkey, ham and fish, potatoes, yams,
pumpkins, cranberries, chocolates and the like are purchased in
volumes that excite the marketing executives of both local community
retail food stores and national commercial chains.
It is anticipated that
Thanksgiving related sales will generate somewhat over $45 billion
this year. Certainly nowhere near the revenues generated by
annual holidays like Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day or
Halloween, but nonetheless Thanksgiving gives the country a brief
kick in the economic pants. Thanksgiving provides a day of
particularly the NFL, plan the events of the day, and the key
team match-ups a year in advance. The teams that are fortunate
enough to capture a Thanksgiving Day game revel in the extra income,
the “take” that is generated by television and advertisement
exposure. The local merchants are thrilled by the additional
revenues garnered and city coffers are expanded from the extra taxes
Of course there are the parades and the parties. Common and expected
are family gatherings, turkey dinners, libations and festivities.
These are elements which compose this annual celebration
commemorating a day of giving thanks. The origins of Thanksgiving,
although the official celebration dates back to the 1860’s,
go back to a
time before the formation of our country; back to a time of the
puritans, of the colonists roaming the new British colony; a
time when this country was not even yet in its infancy.
Thanksgiving is drowned in too much commercialism. Thanksgiving
is a day many cannot wait for, if for the mere fact that it is a day
off of work. And let us not forget,
day after Thanksgiving is Black Friday, the biggest retail day
in America; then Small Business Saturday. Both days desperately
needed to help the economy!
Perhaps it’s not the appropriate question to ask; perhaps it’s
nobody’s business. Perhaps it’s simply something that is left to the
individual. Perhaps it’s not politically correct to get into someone
else’s head in order to ask the question; but in light of all the
realities of Thanksgiving, just how many American’s really stop to
give God thanks?
How many Americans think and reflect on the many blessings God has
provided this country? How many Americans still think about God? How
many people in America celebrate Thanksgiving, having first and
foremost in their heads the thought: “Thanks to God!”?
As this website is considered religious in orientation, there is no
reason to apologize for asking these questions. And these questions
are directed to you.
Will you celebrate Thanksgiving this year, giving thanks to God –
for the blessings He has given you; for allowing you to be alive,
able to enjoy the day?
Oh for sure this nation’s economy is in dire straits. Politically,
can it get any worse? Of certainty many more Americans will, for the
first time, be eating a turkey meal at a food shelter this year.
As we have explained to our readers over the years; the problems
within the United States all funnel down to the fact that this
country is no longer truly a God-fearing nation. It has become a
nation, culturally and religiously, and in so many ways this
nation has a form of godliness, but is unfaithful to God.
Pertaining to this nation’s predominant religion, Christianity;
well, it looks good. There’s a celebrated, glistening veneer. But as
far as substance and principle, spirit and truth; this religion is
best characterized as a whited sepulchre.
As you celebrate Thanksgiving this year, perhaps you should reflect
on your life, both the good and the bad, and the advantages of
living in this country. Likewise, perhaps you should reflect on the
words God spoke to generations past; people, who did not give thanks
to God, and by not doing so, lost all He provided for them, losing
all they had.
Giving thanks is not only a required Christian thing to do; it is a
human thing to do, It is a matter of the heart, regardless of one’s
religion. Gratitude is an honorable characteristic, yet the practice
of it is rapidly diminishing in this once great nation. Will you
give thanks to God?
Do not forget the importance of giving thanks to God; we should all
heed His warnings for failure to do so!
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his
eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being
understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor
gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their
foolish hearts became darkened. Although they claimed to be wise,
they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for
images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and
reptiles” (Romans 1:20-23 NIV).
By not giving thanks to God, have you become futile in your
thoughts? Are you uncertain about your future, lacking hope and
chasing after vain pursuits? By not giving God thanks, have you
developed a hard heart, becoming selfish, foolish in your practice
and behavior? Do you just gobble away at the turkey?
“You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands
have produced my wealth.’ But remember the Eternal your God, for it
is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth and so confirms
His covenant which He swore to your forefathers, as it is today. And
it shall be, if you do at all forget the Eternal God and walk after
other gods and serve them and worship them, I testify against you
this day, you shall surely perish” (Deuteronomy 8:17-19).
The earth is God’s and the fullness of it; everything in it, on it
and above it, all belongs to God. God alone is to be worshipped and
honored; respected for what He possesses, yet shares with mankind.
God provides all that you are able to enjoy. Every element of this
day long celebration called Thanksgiving has been made possible and
so far sustained because God has allowed it to be.
God does not take kindly to idol worship, the works of your hands
and the vanities which today’s religions practice; nor is God
pleased with a people or nation that is ungrateful.
Not forgetting God; not forgetting what He has done (for
you personally), is necessary. Giving thanks to God is
paramount. To forget God, to be ungrateful, turning your mind away
from Him unto vain worship, to idol worship, to worshipping even
yourself and your interpretations of what you think God is, of your
own pursuits, of eating without giving thanks, leads always and only
to one end. As God warned: “you shall surely perish.”
Thanksgiving Day without doubt is a day to give thanks. Perhaps this
year before you sit down with that turkey on your plate as you sit
yourself in front of the television, you should stop and give thanks
to God for all you have and all He has done for you!