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A “Happy” or a “Blessed” Thanksgiving?

It is with great sincerity that most of us wish one another, “Happy Thanksgiving”, but have you ever stopped to think about the whole concept of what makes one “happy”?  Now, I am not being critical of any of us wishing a “Happy Thanksgiving”, just reflecting that perhaps we could wish one another something even better.

Happiness is very temporary.  You can be happy one moment and sad or angry the next. Happiness is temporal, conditional, circumstantial, and often self-focused.  It can be because you have enough to eat (or too much), your team makes a “first-down”, you are at the front of the line at the store when they open for the “Black Friday” sales, or your family made it safely, to gather together.  If you are homeless, it may be a warm grate, a hot meal, a warm, dry coat.  The list can go on and on of those things that can make us “happy” for the moment, but honestly, can change in an instant. 

When you attach this to “Thanksgiving”, it does seem to make it a little shallow, doesn’t it?  The giving of thanks implies gratitude for something received.  Since we are persons, it is recognition of another person and their kindness toward us, a benefactor.  It is not expressing “thanks” to a non-person, a non-entity or non-being, as those who like to refuse to acknowledge the God of the Bible, are wont to do, because, to “give thanks” implies one that can acknowledge and receive it.  Since the Bible says that God causes the “sun to shine on the good and the bad…,” it is appropriate for all to acknowledge Him and give “thanks”.  As Romans 1 says, it is the utter fool who refuses to acknowledge God. 

To be “blessed” is very different.  Implied is not a temporary, changeable, circumstantial feeling, but a gift of condition that is long standing and not necessarily tied to feelings.  Also, it is almost always tied to God blessing one, which suggests something that is continual, not ending, even eternal.  No one ever expressed a “God bless you” intending it to last for a day, and then no more, (that should give us something to think about when one sneezes…).  In fact, if one is blessed of God, an eternal condition is expressed, because God’s blessings (“the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable”) don’t change.  The “Aaronic Blessing” expresses this:

“The Lord bless and keep you; the Lord make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace.”(NASB).  God’s blessing is fulfilled in the person and work of Jesus Christ.  He is the light shining in the darkness, the “Light of the World”.  In the angels announcement of His birth, is the announcement of this fulfillment. “

10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” ESV   Luke 2:10-14. 

Much more can be said, but let me come to the conclusion of the giving of “Thanks”.  I think that I would rather the people that I know and care about, be “blessed” of God, than to just be “happy”... “happy” doesn’t last, but the blessing of the love of God poured out in Jesus Christ, never ends (Romans 8:32…).  So, I wish for people a “Blessed Thanksgiving”, a “blessed giving of Thanks” for His gracious gifts in Jesus Christ.  That is, that our sins can be forgiven, paid for by Jesus’ death on the cross, and we be adopted into God’s family…all by believing in Christ. 

Posted 11/26 01:09 PM