It was my second year of elementary school. Our class was responsible for the Thanksgiving PTA presentation that year. One of the teachers came up with the idea of spelling the word “THANKSGIVING” across the stage and using it as an acronym. Each letter had a little verse that explained something about the holiday. I was assigned the letter “G” which represented giving. (Hmmm….. imagine that) Each child was supposed to step forward and say their memorized line when it was their turn.
On the night of the play, each of us was handed a placard with our designated letter. Apparently, us kids we were responsible for figuring out which way was up all on our own………. yeah right…….
I looked down at my “G”……… looked right from my perspective …….
When the curtains opened, I noticed there was some snickering going on in the crowd. The snickering got progressively louder as my classmates recited their lines, working their way toward me. When I stepped out, there was a definite increase in the volume of laughter. I was embarrassed, not understanding what was so funny. Was my zipper down? It wasn’t until the play was over that another student informed me that my “G” was upside down. Rats…….. nothing like feeling foolish …..
Ezra 3:11 –NIV
11 With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the Lord:
“He is good;
his love toward Israel endures forever.”
Thanksgiving is a time we celebrate the arrival of the first European settlers to Plymouth. “When they landed in November it was too late to plant crops. Many settlers died of scurvy and malnutrition during that horrible first winter. Of the 102 original Mayflower passengers, only 44 survived.” (ushistory.org) They must have questioned the wisdom in bringing their families so far without the necessary supplies to survive. Had it not been for the kindness of the local native Americans from the Wampanoag tribe, the rest would surely have perished as well.
Today I live in a very affluent area of Georgia; you wouldn’t think that there would be too many people around here would suffer from hunger or who would lack physical needs. Yet, Athens GA has one of the highest populations of homeless in the US. It’s sad to think that this could be true in the land of plenty, where abundance is common and food is piled high on the shelves at every grocery store.
I’m not trying to make anyone feel guilty for what they have. God is gracious and he spares many of us from the pains of hunger. This is just a reminder, there are millions who don’t wake up each day in an air-conditioned home with a pantry stocked with food.
Luke 6:38 (NIV)
38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
“G” is for giving! Not just at Thanksgiving and Christmas!
Let us lift the mugs today in a prayer of thanks for what we have and a commitment to help others who don’t have!