A Thanksgiving season reflection

Each and every one of us can come up with pictures or objects that represent different holidays for us.

For instance, a picture of a decorated evergreen tree would bring to mind Christmas. A cake with candles on it? Someone is celebrating a birthday. A fireworks display with the flag of the United States in the foreground would bring to mind Independence Day. A heart with a beautiful arrow through it would make us think of Valentine’s Day.

How about Thanksgiving? I have certainly seen a lot of turkeys around. (Please try not to take this comment personally!) And whether we picture the strutting turkey with the out-spread tail feathers or the turkey on the platter waiting to be carved and served, the image of the turkey is certainly a Thanksgiving Day image.

But this particular image sometimes seems to overshadow, or maybe even misrepresent, the actual purpose or intent of the holiday. While I greatly enjoy a meal of turkey and all that goes with it, I have to admit that I cringe whenever I hear someone refer to the upcoming holiday as “Turkey Day” rather than Thanksgiving Day.

Might I suggest an image that may help us with our Thanksgiving Day focus? It’s certainly not a new one, but one that we might keep in the forefront so that we will remember more fully what Thanksgiving Day is truly about. Picture the over-flowing cornucopia. (Some folks call it a “horn of plenty.”)

What is Thanksgiving Day about? It is a day in which we remember to give thanks to God for the overflowing riches of God’s creation and mercy. It is a day in which we remember that every day is filled to overflowing with reasons for thanksgiving.

I invite and encourage you to take some time to reflect on and give thanks to God for the overflowing cornucopia of gifts that we know in God’s creation and in and through God’s grace.

And then, let us live our lives in such a way that they show our gratitude in how we share God’s abundant gifts with others.

“O give thanks to the LORD, for God is good; for God’s steadfast love endures forever.” (1 Chronicles 16:34)

Pastor Mark S. Luepke, Zion Lutheran Church, Clinton

On behalf of the Clinton Ministerial Association