This weekend, the people of North America will celebrate Thanksgiving. They will gather in homes, restaurants, missions, hotel rooms, even outdoors. People all over the world can celebrate Thanksgiving, even if it’s not an official holiday in the country where they live. Allof us can claim this day and choose what centerpiece we gather round.  

A centerpiece is usually a festive decoration in the middle of the table. Some people buy or create elaborate arrangements. Some are so big you can’t see around them to visit at the table. Other centerpieces are simple and homemade. But the kind of centerpiece I’m talking about is the focusfor the Day.

For many Thanksgiving is all about the wondrous FOOD they plan to prepare and eat. I admit I’m pretty excited about that part. I’m looking forward to delicious ham, stuffing, cheesy potatoes, homemade bread, and a selection of pumpkin, pecan, chocolate, and coconut pie loaded on our plates.
For others, Thanksgiving is all about FALL—a season of fresh crisp air, multi-colored leaves, bountiful harvest, and the aroma of spices in the kitchen. I love fall and all it entails. I welcome the cooler weather and being able to focus more energy indoors and spend time with family for the holidays.

Then of course there are whimsical drawings of turkeys, delicious candy corn, and giggles in the house from kids on break from school. CHILDREN make holidays fun and meaningful—when we teach them what and why we celebrate in life. We tell them about the PILGRIMS who came to North America for religious freedom. They wouldn’t have survived a second winter if native Americans hadn’t taken pity on them. They shared the bounty of their provisions and how to plant and hunt with these strangers from far away.

Getting time off to spend with FAMILY and FRIENDS is a central theme as well. I love my family, and treasure the days we set aside to get together. We talk, sing, walk after our feast, and express gratitude for all the blessings from the past year.
Which brings me to the true centerpiece of Thanksgiving—A Day of GRATITUDE TO GOD for All He Has Provided. Thanksgiving is a reminder that all we are and all we have is not by our own doing, but by His gracious and generous hand. We can’t make it rain or heal the sick; we can’t mend broken people or give hope to the hopeless. Instead, we look to God for all these things.

The United States made a Thanksgiving Proclamation on October 3, 1789 which says in part: “It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor.” There is no more beautiful centerpiece than gratitude, humility, and an expression of dependence on the One who made us. He breathes life into our bodies and gives meaning to our days.
I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving! May Jesus be the center of your day and the deepest joy of your heart.
#Thanksgiving #tabledecoration #holidayfocus #whatdowecelebrate