Black Friday, Cyber Monday? Thanks Today

“You will be enriched in every way for your great generosity, which will produce thanksgiving to God through us; for the rendering of this ministry not only supplies the needs of the saints but also overflows with many thanksgivings to God.” 

–2 Corinthians 9:11-12


In our culture, having more–and obtaining more and more–is a sign of “success,” a sign of our status.  Witness events that now are commonplace surrounding this day which is set aside for our giving thanks:  Black Friday, Cyber Monday…and all of the pre-Black Friday days now that happen BEFORE Thanksgiving. (Christmas carols and decorations up in stores a week after HALLOWEEN!  Don’t even get me started…)   All of these “holidays” are designed to entice us with deals and bargains and door-buster sales to acquire only more…and more…and more.




Yet, all of the “stuff” we have probably doesn’t hold a candle in our hearts to having someone we love, or a even a good friend stop to take a moment and explain why he or she is thankful for us.


Theologically, our thanks should be directed towards God, the one who created us, who sustains us now and will redeems us on the Last Day.  And our thankfulness, by its very nature requires a transaction–or at least the recognition of that transaction:  a gift is given; the gift is acknowledged; a sign of thanks is offered in return.


God is the one who has given us ALL of the gifts of our lives: relationships, our own skills and talents, our abilities, charisma, intellect, ALL of the attributes that make us who we are, all of the joys and loves and challenges we face–ALL of those are gifts God gives to us.


How do we show our thanks for all that God has so generously given to us?  How do we acknowledge those gifts and use them to not our own glory, but to God’s glory?  We give.  We give with joy-filled hearts.  We give as an example to the world, which so desperately needs to know God’s love, out of the abundance of love that we have received from God.  In short, we model the very behavior of the divine giver, and as a mark of thanksgiving we give to the world.



At some point today, during the celebration of food and family, take a moment–30 seconds–to stop and try to name all of the things for which you might give thanks to God.  Name your family members and friends by name.  Be specific in your thankfulness to God for the generosity, the grace, the love that God has shared with you today.  Then find one person for whom you are thankful and tell that person.  Tell them why you are thankful for them in your life.  Doing so won’t take but a moment, but will mean the world to that person.  Find one small way today, on this national day of thankfulness, to give, showing your thankfulness to God for all that you have so abundantly received.  And here’s the best part:  you don’t need a special day with a special name to show your thankfulness to God and to the world.  Every day you are alive presents opportunities for you to show your thankfulness for all you have received from God, and to give that gift to the world.


With a thankful heart, and in Christ’s name,





P.S. For those of you expecting Sonya Sutton’s Daily Cup today, she and I switched days just this once.  So, look forward to Sonya’s Daily Cup tomorrow, and pass along your thankfulness to someone you know and love today.



About matthewhanisian

Associate Rector at St. Alban's Episcopal Church, Washington, D.C.
This entry was posted in The Rev. Matthew R. Hanisian and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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