For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land. (Deuteronomy 8:7 NRSV)

What does Thanksgiving mean to you? Have you caught the Thanksgiving spirit? Let me give you a little Thanksgiving trivia quiz: Which fruit is responsible for preventing the Pilgrims from starving during their first winter in America? The answer is the pumpkin. The words of a Pilgrim song highlight the Pilgrims' appreciation for the pumpkin's aid in preventing hunger: "We have pumpkin at morning, and pumpkin at noon. If it were not for pumpkin, we would be undoon." Those early immigrants to this land did not have it easy.

In our scripture reading today, it says, "For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land." We have much to be thankful for. We live in a good land, but many will celebrate Thanksgiving without giving a thought to its significance.

In a cartoon, the son asks, as they have gathered around the Thanksgiving table, "Why do we always have turkey on Thanksgiving?"

Mom answers, "Well....because it's a tradition."

The son asks: "What's a tradition?"

His brother interrupts to say, "Something we've been doing so long we can't even remember why."

That's the danger of this season. That we will forget what Thanksgiving is all about. And yet I'm reminded of a young girl who said, "Oh, I'm just thankful that I am thankful."

I remember fondly the thanksgivings I had growing up. There was lots of great food. My mom was a great cook. There were the great Christmas parades on T.V. We got a nice vacation from school, and of course there was the Dallas Cowboys playing football. Now, I have my own family to celebrate Thanksgiving with. I am thankful that I am thankful for God's great blessings.

Have you caught the thanksgiving spirit?

Dear God, thank you for all of my blessings! In Jesus' name, Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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