There are so many things to be thankful for in my life. As I sat down and looked through my digital pictures of old thanksgivings (Now that I am fully retired I have time for this kind of stuff) I was surprised to find how many pictures we had with great meals.  My brother and sister and I would always pose before a huge turkey and Dad would snap a couple pictures while he chewed us out if we didn’t smile correctly.  As I mentioned before, we didn’t practice saying Grace at many meals, but at Thanksgiving we always did and Dad would lead it. I don’t remember what he said, I wish I could, but I know he prayed the standard prayer we had all learned, “Bless us, Oh Lord, and these thy gifts which we are about to receive from thy bounty, through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.” As my kids were growing up we’d say more personal prayers and even share what we were thankful for.

It’s always good to be specific when thanking God. Paul was. In his letter to the Romans which was to be the longest of his letters, after his opening, and before he got into the content of his main reason for writing he said, “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you…” That’s a great thing to thank God for. He was grateful for the believers in the world’s capital city of Rome. He knew how hard it was to be a believer in the 1st century world and he rejoiced in the fact that God had blessed him with other believers to share his life with in every part of the world. Paul did not plant the church in Rome, but he was thankful for every believer there. In the first century it was not real popular to be a believer in Jesus.

I’m thankful for all of you who share my faith in Jesus Christ. It’s not easy in our society to be a serious believer and we need each other to nourish our faith, to encourage us in the face of opposition, ridicule and often shame. We comfort each other. We give credence that we’re not crazy, or if we are, there are many crazy people like us. I always enjoy the thought that I’m not in this alone. You are with me! There are believers all over the world and everywhere I go we find those who love the Lord and subscribe to the wonderful values and teachings of the scriptures. That helps sustain me in my faith as well as comfort me in my hardships.  I’m thankful for the provision God makes for me in life, and I’m also thankful for you! Paul reminded the Colossians regarding the importance of being thankful, “Keep your roots deep in him, build your lives on him, and become stronger in your faith, as you were taught. And be filled with thanksgiving.” Colossians 2:7