By Staff Reports

(Pictured - [Left]: Leighton Barnett enjoyed her third grade Thanksgiving dinner dressed as a pilgrim. [Right]: Gage Hosch and Briley Summerford were crowned as the Best Dressed Indians at Plainview.)

DEKALB COUNTY, Ala. — As the third graders at Plainview High School learn our nation’s history of Thanksgiving, we would like to take a moment to reflect on the meaning of the holiday from a Christian perspective.

This following article was previously published in the Thanksgiving 2016 edition of Southern Torch. It was requested that we share this great article by Torch Faith Contributor Megan Blansit with all of you once again.

Thanksgiving is among us and I don’t know about you, but I am super excited. Who doesn’t love family time AND food? … Mom’s sweet potato casserole, my crockpot chicken and dressing (don’t knock it ’til you try it,) corn casserole, pecan pies.. okay, I’ll stop now before our mouths start watering. When I think about the holidays, Thanksgiving in particular, I think of a big table full of food and great family conversations amongst each other.

However, we can’t just snap our fingers and food appear, right? If you can do that, consider yourself having a super power. Preparing a family meal takes preparation; preparation that often goes unnoticed. It is the same as Christ! He is continually preparing something for you, as well as preparing you for something, yet it goes unnoticed. I would dare to say we point our finger at Him as if we are forgotten. But just think, great things often take TIME. If someone cooked an entire Thanksgiving meal in 15 minutes, I would probably be a little leery. I also imagine my taste buds would be disappointed. I honestly can’t think of one time that I have been disappointed by a gift Christ has given me. Sure, I may have had to wait weeks, months, or even years but it has ALWAYS been worth the wait. I don’t know about you, but I don't want half a Thanksgiving meal, and I for sure don’t want half of what God has for me. I would rather wait and see the entire blessing come to fruition; I pray you would do the same.

So I have talked about how Christ loves to give great gifts, yes, I repeat He LOVES giving to his children. But how often do we give anything back to Him? If you haven't realized it by now, I am a visual person, so let's use our imagination for a second.  I imagine all of us sitting at a huge rectangular table with Christ sitting at the head of it. He has prepared a full course meal and our plates are literally overflowing with delicious food. It’s the best food we have ever eaten! Then, I glance at Jesus and his plate is empty. We’ve given nothing to Him, yet He has given everything to us. Can we let that sink in? Are some of us guilty? Do we go about our day consumed with telling God want we need or want and don’t give Him anything?  I will echo my first sentence, Christ finds such joy in giving to us and will keep doing so even when we have sinned and even if we don’t give him anything in return. I’ve often found that Christ just wants our love, which includes quality time. He loves when we spend time with Him in prayer, read His Word, or sing songs of worship to Him.

Maybe you’re reading this and your “plate” from Christ looks empty. Friend, I would remind you Isaiah 55:1, “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters…” Christ is the well that will never run dry, but friend, He won’t make you “drink.” Psalms 34:8 says, “ Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”  The awesome thing is, is that Christ invites everyone to His table. Anyone can come and feast- those who are weary, hurting, happy, guilty, etc. Some of us could be missing out on the best parts of our life because we aren’t sitting at the right “table.” So, friend, as we enter into the holidays, I challenge you to not only fill up on Christ, but “fill up his plate” as well, by giving him your worship, prayer, and devotion. In closing, as we enter into this Thanksgiving holiday, I pray we all take time to reflect on what we have to be thankful for. In the good moments and the bad, Christ promises to never leave us, and for that I am forever thankful. Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Southern Torch wishes you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving! Take the time to be truly thankful for the many blessings that you have.