In many American households, the Thanksgiving celebration has lost much of its original religious significance. From Thanksgiving Day Worship Services to Thanksgiving Day Football Bowl Games… From, Stores being closed ALL DAY on Thanksgiving… giving rise to the “Black Friday” day of capitalism… to the stores opening at Midnight Black Friday… to the stores opening at 6:pm on Thanksgiving FOR Black Friday… to 2019 Black Friday EVERY FRIDAY IN NOVEMBER…
But, there remains the “Word of God”. The Psalmist has a powerfully ‘Grateful Heart’ in teaching (hu)man(ity) thankfulness. “Enter into his gates with Thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise. Know that the Lord is God. It is He that has made us and not we ourselves.” Yet again “He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!” Yet still again “And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.”
And there remains the Hymns of Thanksgiving. “Come, ye thankful people, come, raise the song of harvest home; All is safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin. God our Maker doth provide for our wants to be supplied; Come to God’s own temple, come, raise the song of harvest home.” And “For the beauty of the earth, For the beauty of the skies, For the love which from our birth Over and around us lies, Lord of all, to thee we raise This our grateful hymn of praise.” Still again there is “Thanks we give and adoration For Thy Gospel’s joyful sound; May the fruits of Thy salvation In our hearts and lives abound. Ever faithful, ever faithful, To the truth may we be found.”
And the Songs of Thanksgiving. To hear the Choir sing “Everyday is a day of thanksgiving. God’s been so good to me, everyday He’s blessing me. Everyday is a day of thanksgiving; take the time to glorify the Lord today.” And “Oh give thanks unto the Lord, For he is good, yes He is good. Oh give thanks unto the Lord, For he is good, yes He is good. For He is worthy, worthy. For He is good, yes He is good.” And yet again the lyrics that Walter Hawkins gave the Church, “Folks without homes, Living Out in the streets. And the drug habit some say, they just can’t beat. Muggers and robbers, no place seems to be safe. But you’ve been my protection every step of the way, I wanna say, thank you, Lord, for all you done for me. I wanna Thank You for Your Love. Thank You for Your Power. Thank You for Protection… Every Hour.”
In the American household Thanksgiving Day centers on cooking The Bountiful Meal that became the Single Day on which the extended family and friends Eat, Drink and be Merry. The Turkey, which became the very Center of the Meal is traditionally ‘carved’ by the ‘Head of the Family’. It is reported by the National Turkey Federation that about 46 million turkeys are cooked for Thanksgiving each year; that nearly 90% of Americans eat the bird, roasted, baked or deep-fried, on Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is “The Dressing” of “The Bird” with the “Gravy,… the gravy for the Dressing”; mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. Can SPEAK FOR the house I grew up in when I say that Thanksgiving is Collard, Turnip & Mustard Greens; Green beans and my Sister’s “5 cheese” Macaroni. Fried Corn, Potato Salad and Cornbread. Did somebody say Chitterlings! WITH Hog Maws. What you said. It’s Sweet Potato Pie, Carmel Cake, Pecan Pie, Strawberry Cake and Banana Pudding… OMG Mama’s Banana Pudding!
Then comes the day of consciousness concerning the “Greed”… not just of Food, but of Capitalism. (That: “When Knowledge comes you will never be the same again” thang that Howard Thurman REAL TALKs about. That Part). The ‘Knowledge’ that Gratitude, Giving Thanks is ‘transformative action. —a very powerful force that has the ever growing potential to elevate, and to save and to heal… The Land.
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