Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart!

Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart!

Thanksgiving is one of most celebrated holidays among American families. The Thanksgiving Day tradition is so embedded in American culture that many travel agencies and departments of transportation report having more travelers in the air and on the roads during the Thanksgiving weekend than any other holiday in the calendar year.

In African American families Thanksgiving is often celebrated at the home of the patriarch or matriarch of the family be it grandmother, grandfather, mother and father, aunt, uncle or an older sibling or cousin.  Actually, Sunday afternoon dinner became a mini-Thanksgiving dinner in my family. I have fond memories of my grandmother’s kitchen as we sat around the table discussing the Sunday morning worship service and the pastor’s sermon while eating fried chicken, collard or mustard and turnip greens, cornbread and macaroni and cheese.

The only difference between Sunday afternoon and Thanksgiving dinner was the fact that it involved more foods such as turkey, dressing, mash potatoes, candied yams, cranberry sauce, sweet corn, corn on the cob, pound cake and sweet potato pie as everybody in the family and the community were invited to eat.  While, my grandmother has passed on, this tradition is still observed in my family and is being passed down to my own children.

Thanksgiving was originally an observance for all Americans to give thanks to God for a common purpose. In similitude of the first Thanksgiving, Americans have celebrated this holiday with foods for the season signifying the faithfulness of God who yields harvest in our lives. The Thanksgiving tradition has become the theme of many fall festivals, parades, football games, schools, civic, religious and social organizations, and Christian worship services.

Today when you gather with friends and family to eat, laugh and reminisce, think about and share with one another the many reasons you have to give thanks.  We can be thankful for health, physical stamina and strength. For some it may financial resources, a job or just a place to live.

Whatever difficulty you may be experiencing you can still offer a thankful response to God as the source and sustainer of life.  Like those who originally celebrated this holiday, we are grateful for the faithfulness of a God who has yielded fruit in our lives.

Have a Grateful Heart of Thanksgiving this year!

Dr. Toni

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