by Minister Melanie Dees Campbell
Ark Ministries Hope of the World
Thanksgiving is my favorite American holiday. The activities differ for many. Some think of upcoming shopping sales, others the overindulgence of food, some sports, others gatherings of family and friends. Many embrace the opportunity to mend fences with loved ones. While others share a festive family table inviting a new person from the neighborhood, work, or church to join them. Some fellowships planning personal family Thanksgivings at their place of worship to include those who have no family creating a God-family, bless my heart.
We as followers of Judaeo-Christian teachings should always be walking in the command of loving our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:37-39, Mark 12:31, Leviticus 19:18). When we practice loving kindness to others, we exercise our faith. It is spiritually sound to look outside our immediate circle and implement the gospel teachings of our Savior.
Thanksgiving is a holiday where we can put our love into action because we love him who first loved us (1 John 4:19). Meditating on how we are loved in this present time by our Creator through Yeshua/Jesus can bring us joy and peace. This love he has for us was before the foundation of the world. He knew us knitting us in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13-16). What a blessed way to share with others, inviting them to receive Jesus/Yeshua by our love in action.
Thankfulness is to our Savior/Messiah, who takes all who accept the invitation of salvation. Coming as we are, we receive he who is the truth, the way, and the life (John 14:6), and we should want to share this good news with others. He took our punishment, the chastisement upon himself, and gifting us with righteousness (2 Cor. 5:21), we can joyfully walk in loving obedience. Obedience to His command to love because being made righteous, we want to show God’s love to others. Faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26).
Being ambassadors of Messiah (2 Cor. 5:20), we might consider those who can’t leave their homes due to personal challenges. We can deliver a plate and a card, so no one is forgotten. We can share that the Lord never leaves us nor forsakes us (Deuteronomy 31:6-8).
Let us remember those walking through the suffering of loss at this time. During life’s valleys, we can help others overcome by the presence of the Lord’s love through prayers and kindness. Yeshua/Jesus (Matt. 5:4) said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted,” fulfilling Psalm 147:3, “He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds.” We with acts of loving-kindness can reach out by card, call or invite. Our Lord knows pain, loss, and life’s difficult situations. Many of us miss loved ones and are thankful that we had the person in our life for their time here, but that is a process. Those hurting need to know through our kindness that the Lord loves them.
We thankful that the Lord set us free for eternal life are assured knowing, believing, and receiving the truth that our Creator is love (1 John 4:16). The love shown by sending his only begotten Son into the world for us can fill us with joyful thanksgiving. Having the Holy Spirit we can be thankful for every life moment. Let us give thanks for God’s glorious love and compassion for us and love others for a happy Thanksgiving.
Blessings and Shalom