‘I Ate Too Much’
For the average household on Thanksgiving, the spread of food is incredible at best – multiple pies, more than one meat option, and multiple other choices to round off a spread that could a feed an army. The funny thing is, there is usually not an army to eat it. Even with a band of twenty people there are lots of leftovers that you will eat on for days. So many leftovers, that you get sick of it after a few days of eating it again and again. Then there is the age-old phrase that everyone says, “I ate too much”.
Then every family has their own traditions. Macy’s Day Parade is a staple for many American households. Football games are in abundance to the point that even the biggest fan can get an overload. Some people even grab some of the family and head out to the backyard to play the biggest game of the year: “The Turkey Bowl”. You may be the one who has to make multiple trips to multiple houses in one day and once again you say: “I ate too much”.
All of these are wonderful happenings. And don’t get me wrong, I partook in most of these this past Thanksgiving Day. And yes, I even ate too much!
But is this Thanksgiving? Is this truly giving thanks? For centuries, cultures have used feast and celebration to surround days of remembrance. In ages past, the Israelites filled their year with days of remembrance to mark the goodness and faithfulness of their God. Sharing and partaking of the goodness of God’s bounty is a wonderful way to mark the many blessings God has poured upon us. It is biblical and was even mandated in the Old Testament by our God to His chosen people. However, the Israelites forgot why they held these feast and days of remembrance. They become just mere traditions. But I can’t help wonder if we, as American Christians, have forgotten how to be thankful and why it is we of all people should be most thankful. We are rich. The poorest of us are many times richer than most in this world. The Thanksgiving holiday has become steeped in tradition and tradition, without heartfelt understanding of why we celebrate, produces apathy.
It is because of the Gospel that we as believers should be most thankful. That fact that “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” is reason alone to make a believer the most grateful and humble individual on the earth. If we were to receive nothing more than grace this side of heaven, we have more to be thankful for than anyone. This Thanksgiving holiday, I have been hit with a fresh awareness and conviction of how ungrateful I can be for the salvation of Christ. So many times my attitude does not reflect gratitude. As I sat around watching the family enjoy one another and say the usual “I ate too much”, I realize that I do not want to celebrate Thanksgiving per usual this year. As we move into this Christmas season, I want to be rekindled with joy and adoration that “All I have is Christ”. I want to hunger and thirst afresh for righteousness. Because I know that the more I partake in the feast that Christ offers, I will never say that I have eaten too much.