I am a fan of local community newspapers for a variety of reasons. I have a lot of respect for people who work hard to serve their communities in any capacity. Journalists for small local newspapers certainly aren’t in it for the big bucks. But their motivation is often the belief that the dissemination of information is critical in a well-functioning democracy. An informed citizenry makes better decisions when casting a ballot and is more likely to be involved in productive efforts to solve problems.
I recently came across an editorial in a secular community newspaper that I thought was apropos to share as we gear up for Thanksgiving tomorrow. You can access that editorial below.
In our frenetic consumeristic lives in the United States of the twenty-first century, we are forgetting the reason for holidays we celebrate. As a Christian, I’m offended and saddened that my Savior’s name is exploited to sell electronics and chocolate at Christmas and Easter, respectively. Jesus never used an iPad and I doubt he ever ate a chocolate bunny. But I recognize that not everyone is a Christian and shares my values. I also understand that out of self-preservation in the marketplace capitalism encourages actors to use whatever hooks they can to hock their wares. I get that.
But our shallow, materialistic culture is even forgetting why we celebrate secular holidays like Thanksgiving. That particular holiday has nothing to do with competitive eating, football pools or Black Friday strategizing. Though a secular holiday, its roots are religious. Though their lives were difficult and their future unclear, the Pilgrims were giving thanks to their omnipotent God for the blessings of their life and their freedom. What a great model and reminder for us even now in the present time.
As twenty-first century Americans, we certainly have a host of problems facing us. A world-wide economic crisis of historic proportions and the repercussions of global warming make many of us fearful for what the future may entail. But instead of passing distractions like football, gorging or shopping, I would encourage us to take refuge in God. Taking time to be grateful for all he has done is a wonderful antidote and brings tremendous peace.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.