Thanksgiving 2020 by Jim Bagley

“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Being thankful in 2020 might take a little bit of work. It has been a year of losses; a season of restrictions; a time of waiting for things to change that are totally beyond our control. Most of us have adjusted to the sacrifices we have been called to, but some are still struggling; even rebelling. On top of all these things, we continue to face empty pews every Sunday morning, as so many remain reluctant to return to worship. And no one knows when this will end.

Early on in this experience, I sent out a Sunday message that talked of the experience of the Israelites in the wilderness; caught between their captivity in Egypt and the promised land of Canaan. I am certain that when they left Pharaohs’ army behind in the Red Sea they didn’t expect to be wandering for 40 years. But during that time they learned how to be a nation; how to worship; and mostly, how to depend on God.

What are you learning during this pandemic? Unfortunately, we don’t always learn the right lessons. Some are learning to be loners; some to cling tightly to their ‘rights;’ some to avoid God altogether. Others, like the Israelites, are going deeper in their faith and learning to trust God even as they experience this fast from what we thought were our normal lives.  It is true that some have found themselves even busier over these last 7 months, but for many, this unexpected break from a busy routine has created some precious space in their lives. What have you filled that space with? Do you find your prayers becoming more regular and meaningful? Do you miss the people who used to sit around you on Sunday mornings? Are you becoming a more faithful husband/wife; mother/father; son/daughter; follower of Jesus?

In the end, God delivered the Israelites into the promised land, and we will one day be delivered from this wilderness experience too.  When it is over, will you seek to go back to normal? Is that even an option? Or will you be able to give thanks to God for the opportunity to grow that He has placed before us?

While thanksgiving celebrations in 2020 will no doubt be very different for all of us, these things remain the same: God is with you; God loves you, and God is calling you to a deeper relationship with Him.

“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

May you experience gratitude and contentment this Thanksgiving.  And may you find a way to celebrate with your families that leads you to share with them your gratitude and joy; as you worship the One through whom all blessings flow!

Happy Thanksgiving,

Pastor Jim

Our thanksgiving offering is an opportunity for you to say “Thank you” to God for the blessings in your life. Proceeds from your offerings will be split evenly between Street Help (a local street mission in the Walkerville area of Windsor) and the Melo Clinic and Pregnancy Centre in Leamington.  Donations can be made by designating “Thanksgiving Offering” on your regular envelopes or using eTransfer or the Tithely app.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the office.