So we celebrate Thanksgiving because some politicians thought they would tip their hats to the Almighty, and made it up by fiat. We could say that the holiday is the fulfillment of the first Article demand that because of all that God gives us, it is our DUTY to “thank and praise, serve and obey Him.” OK a call to duty is a good tactic. It is still the Law though. I have been spending a lot of time trying to guilt folks to come to Thanksgiving services.
I just read an interesting book that will make some people crazy if they read it. It is called “Resident Aliens: Life in the Christian Colony” by Stanley Hauerwas and William Willimon.
We are forever getting confused into thinking that scripture is mainly about what we
are supposed to do rather than a picture of who God is . If Jesus had put forth
behavior like turning the other cheek when someone strikes you as a useful tactic
for bringing out the best in other people, then Jesus could be justly accused of
ethical naiveté. But the basis for the ethics of the Sermon on the Mount is not what
works but rather the way God is. Cheek- turning is not advocated as what works (it
usually does not), but advocated because this is the way God is— God is kind to the
ungrateful and the selfish. This is not a strategem for getting what we want but the
only manner of life available, now that, in Jesus, we have seen what God wants. We
seek reconciliation with the neighbor, not because we will feel so much better
afterward, but because reconciliation is what God is doing in the world in the
So maybe that is the best way to think about going to church on Thanksgiving or Thanksgiving eve. We should go because that is what Jesus did. He was always thankful for the gifts of His heavenly Father. He was even thankful for his rather slow disciples. For the joy that is us he despised the cross and endured the shame.