It's the cry of a frustrated parent or partner, who's been taken for granted again. Slaving over a hot stove to produce an evening meal, only for the ungrateful recipients to eat up and walk away without so much as a grunt of gratitude.

Across the US people will be enjoying "Thanksgiving" this evening. It's a national festival almost as big as Christmas. We seem to have adopted the carnage of "Black Friday", the shopping day that follows "Thanksgiving", without opting into the joy of the celebration that proceeds it. Which is a shame.

Not because I either want (or need!) another meal of such large proportions that it is criminal to eat it all. Nor is it because I want to have some of the ridiculously sweet things that Americans serve at Thanksgiving dinner, like sweet potatoes with marsh mallows on top (I'm not joking!).

But because "Thanksgiving" is Harvest Festival hyped up. It's historic roots are to be found with the early Christian settlers of America. They would have a day when they thanked God for the abundance of His provision. In fact this years top "Thanksgiving" sound track is sung by a pastor (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-38084433). It comes with some serious dancing!

It's all too easy for us to presume on God when it comes to what we see as the basic provisions of life. We can be like the teenager who presumes that their clothes will be washed, the fridge will be full and the food will be on the table each evening, without so much as a, "Thanks mum (or dad)!". We simply presume that our taps will run with water and and supermarket shelves will be stocked with food and our delis will provide things with strange seeds in at prices that make your eyes water!

What's sad about "Thanksgiving" in the US is, as Wikipedia reliable informs me: "Although Thanksgiving has historical roots in religious and cultural traditions, it has long been celebrated in a secular manner as well."

Without God "Thanksgiving" makes no sense. Just who are you thanking? Each other? Perhaps it should be called "Well done us day!".

As Psalm 104:14-15 says:

He makes grass grow for the cattle,
    and plants for people to cultivate—
    bringing forth food from the earth:
wine that gladdens human hearts,
    oil to make their faces shine,
    and bread that sustains their hearts.

So this evening when you sit down for your supper (or tea if you are a northern migrant like me), why not take a little longer over saying "grace". Or perhaps you could mix your pudding in with your vegetables for a more authentic Thanksgiving experience!

 

 

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