By Pastor Doug Rokke   American Lutheran Church, La Porte City

Giving Thanks: Every Day!

“And be thankful” ~ Colossians 3:15b NRSV

“And be thankful.” This is one of the instructions that Paul gave to the church in Colossae. Before this he told them to clothe themselves with virtues such as compassion, kindness and humility, but then he told them to be thankful. He mentions this again in a couple other ways in the verses that follow, as well as in other letters he wrote. It seems that for Paul, giving thanks and being thankful is an important matter for those who follow Christ.
This week we celebrate the Day of Thanksgiving. It is one of my favorite holidays because it hasn’t become as commercialized as Christmas or some of the other holidays. I also like the fact that for a day we stop from our work and from our busy lives with the main purpose of giving thanks. Hopefully people will take time to look at their lives and see the many blessings they have to be thankful for. Along with this I hope we will all take time to offer up a prayer of thanksgiving for all those blessings we remember.
Finally, I hope that the Day of Thanksgiving will be a reminder of the value of giving thanks every day. Because giving thanks isn’t only for Thanksgiving Day, really it is something that is important to do every day. For in giving thanks we see the goodness of life and all the many blessings God sends in good times and in difficult times. Perhaps this is what Paul came to realize as he says, “and be thankful.” If that’s the case, then that he isn’t just talking about giving thanks at a particular time or for a particular thing, but that being thankful is something to do in all times and places.
So here’s wishing all of you a very good and blessed Thanksgiving Day. I hope you get to enjoy it with family or friends. And I hope you have a long list of things for which you are thankful. But finally may it not end with Thanksgiving Day, but may it move you give thanks every day. Or in Paul’s words may it lead you to simply “be thankful,” in all you do.