In screenwriting, there is a crucial rule: “Show, don’t tell.” The goal is to have your characters demonstrate by their actions what they feel and believe, rather than just having them explain it to each other. This week, as I hummed “Give Thanks” while vacillating between stuffing recipes, I was struck by the notion that giving thanks is easy. Showing thanks may take a little more effort. But it is an effort we all need to make.
As we gather together with friends and family, may we be articulate and precise about the blessings for which we are grateful, and encourage others to be thoughtful in their thanks as well.
But let us go beyond words: Let us be the Word.
Let us strive to share those blessings – to help the needy, protect the vulnerable, lift up the struggling, forgive the stumbling, and witness to the unknowing. Let us do all we can to meet anger with love, to combat discrimination with acceptance, to spread God’s love everywhere we can reach. Let us joyfully do the work – in ourselves and in the world – God asks of us.
In his Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1963, issued less than three weeks before he was assassinated, President John F. Kennedy wrote, “…as our power has grown, so has our peril. Today we give our thanks, most of all, for the ideals of honor and faith we inherit from our forefathers -- for the decency of purpose, steadfastness of resolve and strength of will, for the courage and the humility, which they possessed and which we must seek every day to emulate. As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.”
Throughout this season of thanks, may our actions show our love for the Lord. May our hearts be full, and may our hands and minds be busy. May we seize every opportunity to be good stewards of His world, His love, and His people. May our actions show to all who see them that we are the grateful, grace-filled people of God.
“You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.”
2 Corinthians 9:11