Thanksgiving Means Thanking the Lord and Giving to Others

It’s that time of the year when Americans celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, so let’s slow down, take a breath, and consider what Thanksgiving means.

It's that time of the year when Americans celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, so let's slow down, take a breath, and consider what Thanksgiving means.

Let’s start with what it is not. It is not ‘Turkey Day.’ Nor is it about going over the river and through the wood to grandmother’s house for pumpkin pie.

Nor should it be solely about giving thanks. If it were, we might be calling it ‘Giving Thanks Day.’

Perhaps we should frame the holiday as one where our thankfulness compels us to give to others in a way that shows that we care. Is that not an accurate picture of the two Great Commandments? First, loving the Lord our God with all our heart and mind and strength (thanks); then loving others (giving). Numerous churches around the country will be giving to others this Thanksgiving Day.

Pastor Dierre Glenn of Advancing Christ’s Kingdom church in Michigan City, Indiana, wisely observed that,

People don’t know you care until you show them.

This is how four evangelical churches are showing people that they care this Thanksgiving season

Cross Church, Springdale, Arkansas, continued its Blessing Baskets ministry that it had established in 1992. On the weekend prior to Thanksgiving, the church distributed 2,250 meals to families in the Springdale community who live in “significant hunger.”

One Blessing Basket includes a Thanksgiving meal, plus enough food for two or three additional meals. Specific items include beans, cereal, chili, corn, at least one large hen, peanut butter, rice, beans, tuna, yams, chili, fruit, bread, and a dozen eggs.

Over the past 16 years, the church has fed 52,000 families and witnessed 11,000 people trust Jesus as their Savior.

StoneBridge Church, Findlay, Ohio, holds an annual community event on Thanksgiving Day. They expect to feed close to 2,500 meals in partnership and with the support of several local restaurants and business. This year, Movement Church, a new church that currently meets in a middle school, is joining with StoneBridge “to help out where we can be a blessing to others.”

Advancing God’s Kingdom Ministries, Michigan City, Indiana is distributing over 400 turkeys to families who would be hard-pressed to purchase their own. A board member of the church explained that “over 14% of Indiana’s residents live below the poverty line, with even higher rates in Northwest Indiana, where Advancing Christ’s Kingdom is located.”

Pastor Glenn emphasized that “It’s our prayer that people see that God loves them and that He will supply all their needs according to His riches in glory.”

Crossroads Church, Cincinnati, Ohio, distributed more than 100,000 meals to needy local people prior to Thanksgiving. In addition, they distributed more than “16,000 food items to local pantries specifically to feed students.” Crossroads’ Thanksgiving food drive includes an even wider outreach. It is preparing two container loads of non-perishable food items totaling more than 60,000 pounds of food to partners in South Africa.

Thanksgiving. Thanking the Lord. Giving to others as He has given to us. As the Crossroads website says,

Please allow the Spirit to lead you and your family and friends to a need in your community.

How will you show your thanks this year?

To read more news on the needy around the world on Missions Box, go here.

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