Thanksgiving as a Ministry Opportunity

November 26, 2008 by  
Filed under Advent Meditations

Are we losing Thanksgiving? That’s the question posed by Leadership Journal managing Eric Reed in a holiday essay from 2006. Reed worries that football and commerce have overwhelmed the Thanksgiving holiday. “I don’t mean to sound like Chicken Little (or Turkey Lurkey?),” Reed writes, “but the one day set aside to contemplate our blessings and their divine origin has, in one generation, been reduced to a football orgy and now, for football widows, a jumpstart on the biggest shopping day of the year as more stores open on the sacred Thursday.”

But Reed also notes that Thanksgiving services can be an important ministry opportunity:

The pastor of an Atlanta church told us that Thanksgiving was becoming for them the new seeker’s holiday. They found that people curious about faith would attend thanks-themed worship services with their believing friends. For seekers, Thanksgiving is a less demanding holiday than Christmas, which requires belief in the improbable (a Virgin birth?), or Easter, with its claims to exclusivity (must Christ be the only Way?). Everyone has something to be thankful for, and most people recognize that something beyond themselves must be credited with their blessings.

As we interact with family, friends and co-workers this Thanksgiving, let’s be mindful of that point and share our gratitude for the amazing God who is the source of all our blessings.

  • Hopewell United Methodist Church

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