Thanksgiving is one of the primary colors that defines one’s relationship to God and to others. By its nature thanksgiving is relational in that you can’t thank nothing for something. I can’t say “thank you” to a void. Thanksgiving, the attitude and act of being thankful, must have an object; at least it must have an object in order to be rational, otherwise it is akin to asking the void a question.
Of course, people do talk to the void all the time and so people engage in the rather absurd act of being thankful to nothing all the time, not reflecting on the absurdity of their actions. If one is not in relationship with the true and living God then who can one be thankful to? Who can one carry on a conversation of thanksgiving with? How can a person who believes that we are the products of time-plus-matter-plus-chance be rationally thankful? How can accidents of time and space produce something called thanksgiving?
If thanksgiving is showing appreciation, if it is acknowledging the blessing or goodness bestowed by someone else upon me, if it is – at a mundane level – gratefulness for a job well done or a courtesy extended such as opening a door; then to whom shall I say “thank you” to if there is no one to say “thank you” to? Why not say “thank you” when an automatic door opens for us? Why not say it loudly for all to hear? That would make as much sense as being thankful to the void or to some nebulous presence.
In Romans Chapter One thanksgiving is a primary color in the Creator – created relationship; when created humanity ceases to be thankful it falls into a downward spiral. In 1 Thessalonians Chapter Five thanksgiving is a primary color in doing the will of God, in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Many folks who say they want to do the will of God don’t like that verse – they want to “do” something, anything, other than give thanks and “be” thankful.
I was with a group of people who were asked to indicate what they were thankful for since it is Thanksgiving – it was a syncretistic gathering. Speaking into the void, certainly some, perhaps many, were speaking into the void.
Is thanksgiving to the true and living God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, a primary color in our lives?