We watched a Walton’s Thanksgiving television special the other night. (We watch the older programs, when we watch). They struggled through the events of life and in the last they all sat down, them and their neighbors and about 20 of them shared Thanksgiving dinner.
It presents a wonderful heartwarming vision of laughter, sharing and food. Its how we would like things to be in our own homes isn’t it? It seems that for this year at least it won’t be that way for most of us. We personally will be staying home with our youngest son and enjoying the food and fellowship with just us and that’s OK for now… but I sure am tired of the Covid virus, masks, social distancing and self quarantining… as I know most of you are too.
The thing we need to remember is that sometimes we are alone physically, but that doesn’t remove us from the presence of Christ or our family of Christians, does it?
Separation for Christians is not something new. At the beginning of the church there was terrible persecution… Christians had to be Christians in secret until they were sure of whom they might be talking with. One story I read talked about Christians going to the open markets in the town square and drawing a symbol of a fish in dirt with the toe of their shoe. Someone else would see it and draw one in response. They could look across the market and find joy because they shared the same spirit in Christ, they could give thanks even then, they were alone…together.
The apostle Paul wrote to his beloved friends in 1 Thessalonians 3:7-9 and expressed thanks even though he was separated from them in trying times. Notice his words: “So, in all our trouble and suffering we have been encouraged about you, friends. It was your faith that encouraged us, because now we really live if you stand firm in your life in union with the Lord. Now we can give thanks to our God for you. We thank him for the joy we have in his presence because of you.”
That is the thanks we need to have at this holiday season and throughout the entire year. Thanks to God for his love and the love and encouragement of our fellow Christian sisters and brothers. Stay in touch, pray for one another, write and phone one another, stay connected even though separated.
No, it’s not a Walton’s Thanksgiving, but it is a time for Thanksgiving anyway… Never forget your blessings!