What are you doing to prepare your hearts and minds for Thanksgiving?
With just a few short weeks between now and this Holiday, I want to be focused and intentional in embracing the true meaning of Thanksgiving. So I did just a little digging… What does Thanksgiving really mean? Let’s start with a definition, here is what dictionary.com has to say…
1. the act of giving thanks; grateful acknowledgment of benefits or favors, especially to God.
2. an expression of thanks, especially to God.
3. a public celebration in acknowledgment of divine favor or kindness.
4. a day set apart for giving thanks to God.
Whoa… I didn’t expect to see God in there already! Isn’t that interesting? The word itself seems to already imply a thanks given to God. Yet it’s still the word used for our National Holiday of a country that has disproportionately aimed at “separation of church and state.” But still, cool!
Now that was the English definition. However, the word thanksgiving is used all over the Bible. One such greek word used in the Bible, translated as Thanksgiving, is Eucharisteo. This word is a complex combination of three main ingredients : grace, thanksgiving, & joy.* Ann Voskamp’s book 1,000 Gifts would be a great place to learn about this eucharisteo. She shares how, even in the pain, she was able to focus on God’s gifts, always giving thanks, and living her life in praise.
To prepare my heart for Thanksgiving, I have decided to spend my days seeking ways to praise and thank God. To thank God for all the many gifts he gives every single day, and make my very life a song of constant praise. One small way I have done this, is by listing my favorite gifts at the end of every night via a tweet. Thanksgiving is contagious, joy spawns joy, and in a world full of complaints… why not add a little thanks?
*From Ann Voskamp’s Book and DVD study, 1,000 Gifts
** My husband posted his own research on Eucharisteo and Thanksgiving here!