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Religious Reflections

True Thanksgiving

by Donna Homer

It's that time of year again. Harvest is done and the frost is on the pumpkin. Preparations are being made for the big day-everyone is preparing their favorite traditional dishes.

What fun, but do we all get caught up in the fanfare? Do we even set aside five minutes to express true gratitude other than a sincere blessing at mealtime on Thanksgiving?

Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, writes in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scripture, "are we really grateful for the good already received? Then we shall avail ourselves of the blessings we have, and thus be fitted to receive more. Gratitude is much more than a verbal expression of thanks."

The Christian Science Church holds a special service each Thanksgiving Day for the public. Each Thanksgiving, with meal preparation and guests, I always wonder how I can go, but I am always glad when I do because it makes me take time out to hear what the scriptures say about gratitude and to hear God's word, for it is Him who provides for all our needs.

The last half hour of the service is open for those attending to rise and express gratitude for perhaps a healing or an answer to needed supply, for strength or answered prayer.

It is helpful to me to hear how God answers prayer. I go away with an uplifted thought about Thanksgiving and a reminder of what the day is all about.

In the previous quote, it asks, "Are we really grateful for the good already received?"

To me, this means are we availing ourselves of what we already have. If so, we shall receive more.

This became clear to me one time when my husband was in the Navy and our money supply was limited. I looked in the frig and cupboards for something to prepare for my dinner. There was nothing!

I sat down at the kitchen table and made use of what I did have-prayer. I said humbly, "Well, Father, what do I do now?"

There came a quiet knock on my door. It was the neighbor lady. She had in her hand a plate filled with turkey, potatoes, gravy, etc. She said, "I would like to share this with you. I had a yearning for a Thanksgiving turkey dinner, so I cooked one up today and thought you would like this."

Boy, talk about prayer answered! I would have been grateful for a sandwich, but I was given a complete homemade meal!

I couldn't have been more thankful for God's abundant supply.

God had been preparing this meal for me long before I needed it, and all I had to do was turn to Him.

So, as this Thanksgiving draws near, perhaps each of us can avail ourselves of what we have and truly be grateful to God. As it says in I. Timothy 4:4, 5: "For every creature of God is good and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving."

Donna Homer, First Church of Christ, Scientist, 1405 Federal Way, Sunnyside.

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