Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A thank-FULL people

This week marks the US celebration of the Thanksgiving Holiday. Its a day about family, friends, and giving thanks, but do we really practice these values that are suppose to be so important on this day? I don't think we really know how to as a nation of mostly over feed, under paid and hardly grateful people. Sounds harsh I know, but it's the truth. America's not a bad place, in fact it's the greatest nation on earth, other than the Scandinavia, Canada, Australia...well you get the point. Really though, there a lot of positive idea's and values that stem from American minds, it's just that so many of them go un practiced in America.

There really is a lot to be thankful for in our nation. Our dysfunctional, broken and often useless government is not one of them. Our sub standard minimum wage, over priced healthcare system and  failing education system are also all hard to be thankful for. Especially when the stock market is soaring, corporate profits are at an all time high and conservative tea party politicians complain about the $36 per person, per year that welfare cost Americans verses the $6000 per person per year that big business subsides cost Americans. Those things are all difficult places to find thanks in. But really when you look at the big picture things are good. Unless you're gay, black, hispanic, female, or a non-citzen, then things are still pretty tough. Given the continued resistance to comprehensive immigration reforms by Tea Party Republicans, the continued targeting of Black and Hispanic Americans by conservative state governments, the assault on voter rights for these populations and places like Oklahoma being willing to simply cut out benefits all together rather than provide them for gay couples, there might not be a whole lot to be thankful for.

Perhaps I'm being to hard, perhaps I'm being unpatriotic and un American, after all what's more American than gluttony and over indulgence, of which both we engage in at their finest over the thanksgiving holiday, i.e stuffing ourselves full of turkey, potatoes and pie on thursday and rushing to the store (now on thursday evening) the next guy to buy, buy, buy!!! This Holiday was never about family, friends and thanks. It's about them in theory, but in 1941 when the government made it a national day of thanks, it was about setting up the Xmas holiday season and the economic push that comes from it. Really if we wanted to celebrate the harvest we'd do it when the Canadians do it in October, when stuffs actually being harvested. By the end of November much of the nation is blanked with snow, ice and cold weather and the harvest has been over for about two months.

So does this mean this is all for not, all at a lose, just big and fabricated attemped to trick us into the holiday spirit so that we can buy, buy, buy? Is it only a contrived sense of being thankFUL so that we can have an excuse for being so FULL on food and stuff while 2/3 of the world lives on less than $1.25 a week? I suppose we could continue being that critical about it and get nothing out of it at all, but what good would that do? I propose that we take the GIVING part seriously and reflect on our God given opportunities to Give to those in need this year, and be full of giving and not just full.

St. Paul tells the Corinthians in 2nd Corinthians 9 that giving and generosity, charitably and graciousness are all gifts from God and that they should be thankful that they have the chance to give. It is a blessing to be able to give, both of resource and of hearts. As we enter into the holiday season lets consider how we can be thankful about our opportunity to give (those of use who have been blessed with more than we need.) This thanksgiving please be considerate of the other and try being full of thanks giving and not just simply FULL.

Happy Holidays,
Pastor Josh

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