Thanksgiving has a long history of celebration in the United States. Starting with the Pilgrims landing in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1622, to George Washington declaring a day of Thanksgiving to God for the blessings of becoming a new nation, to having Abraham Lincoln pronounce it as an official national holiday in 1863. Thanksgiving has been part of the fabric of this country. And even though Thanksgiving can sometimes get lost between the costumes and candy of Halloween, and the shopping and stockings of Christmas, I have always loved this time of year. And the reason is, we can take the time to praise God with family and friends (although it might look a bit different this year), and as we begin the preparation to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, next month.
As challenging as 2020 has been for all of us, we still have a lot to be thankful for at Chestnut Level. God has blessed us with a strong staff to help in the work of the ministries of the church, and all of you that have made a strong commitment to CLPC in your giving, and in your living.
One way we can express our thanksgiving to God is with our generosity of both our time and our talents. I want to tell you how thankful I am for your generosity over this past year. In an economic climate where many businesses, organizations, and churches have struggled mightily, you have been very gracious and consistent in your support of Chestnut Level Presbyterian Church.
And so, as we look back on 2020 and how we gave of our time, talent, and financial gifts, we look to God’s holy word to help us continue with our generosity in moving forward to the end of this year, and beyond. In the Apostle Paul’s second letter to the church at Corinth, he writes on how giving should be something you do in an individual manner, something to be thought of and carefully planned, and also that we do it joyfully. What a great way to think of Thanksgiving this year! Paul writes, “You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.” II Corinthians 9:11-12 (NIV)
Originally, I was supposed to be away this weekend to preach at my friend’s church in West Virginia. I decided late this week to cancel that trip, in part because of the travel restrictions passed down by the state of Pennsylvania, and also because of having some family in town next week for Thanksgiving, and not wanting to jeopardize that small gathering. And so, I look forward to being with you on this Sunday before Thanksgiving, November 22, at both 8:00 am and 10:30 am, as I will be preaching what I hope will be a timely message, and food for your soul, which I have titled, “Thanksgiving in the midst of COVID-19. Happy Thanksgiving, and see you Sunday!