November has traditionally been a time of thanksgiving for the American people.
In just a few weeks we celebrate Thanksgiving Day and remember the English Pilgrims who crossed the Atlantic Ocean to create a new life for themselves in America and then celebrated that effort with a great feast of Thanksgiving to God.
We may not cross an ocean and endure a bitter winter weather to begin a new life, as the Pilgrim once did. But we do, however, celebrate the many ways God continues to bless our life together and offer thanksgiving for the gifts bestowed upon us.
A week ago, my wife and I traveled across Illinois to visit my son, his wife and family who live in Palatine, Illinois. We drove Route 30 which transects miles and miles of flat and fertile farm fields. On the day we saw combines and corn pickers harvesting and transporting crops to storage silos.
I often reflect on farm life. My mother’s family were farmers from Switzerland who settled in Christian County, Illinois. Someone once told me farmers are gamblers. They invest their wealth in seed and fertilizer, then pray for good weather to bring an abundant harvest in the fall. They put their wealth at risk and God to be with their effort.
This year I noticed that many fields were already plowed and planted with cover crops. A cover crop may be winter wheat, rye or another plant that can withstand winter weather and crow in the spring. Cover crops are a sign of hopefulness and thanksgiving. No sooner is the harvest complete, then preparations for the next season begin. Thanksgiving leads to hope for the future and the effort to make that hope a reality.
Think about the many ways God blesses us. We give thanks for our church facility, members and ministry that serve the community. We are thankful for our families, means of support and the nation in which we live.
Offering thanks is a humbling experience in some ways. We acknowledge our need for divine help to accomplish our good work.
Offering thanksgiving is also a call to action. Just as we are blessed by God, we are called to be a blessing to others.
Let your thanksgiving this year be heart felt. May the spirit of thanksgiving permeate your life and all that you do. May your thanksgiving be heart felt and accomplish God’s greater purpose for us.