People love to celebrate! We can’t think of anything better than coming together to share all the amazing milestones in our lives. Once these milestones have happened we don’t want the partying to stop so we invite people to remember the occasion with us for years to come!
That’s why we celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas. It’s also why Americans celebrate Thanksgiving: gathering to remember the shared autumn feast between the settlers and Native Americans, and in modern times using it as a time to give thanks for the blessings of the year.
As a British person, I am in LOVE with the idea of having not one but two reasons to gather in the winter months with the people I love and eat myself into a coma. So my friends and I decided to start hosting our own Thanksgiving meal! We had a go at making pumpkin pie and candied yams, but we also used it as a time to reflect on God’s faithfulness and boost our faith by hearing each other’s stories.
Planning the night, we realised that it’d be an amazing opportunity to share Jesus with the people in our lives who didn’t know Him. We each invited a friend who isn’t walking with Jesus yet, praying that hearing our testimonies would stir something in them; we were going to put the ‘thanks’ back into Thanksgiving!
As with many parts of American history, the origin of the American Thanksgiving is complicated and painful. There may be aspects of the holiday that don’t sit right with you.
An easy way to practice thankfulness is by sharing our testimonies. ‘Testimony’ simply means to remember and there are so many times in Scripture that we’re told to share these memories with those around us. We’re supposed to share with our families (Luke 8:39, NLT), before those in authority (Psalm 119:46, ESV), and to pretty much anyone who’ll listen (Psalm 66:16, ESV). And as we acknowledge God and encourage those listening to acknowledge Him too, Matthew 10:32 says that God acknowledges us in return.
Revelation 12:11 says that we, as children of God, can defeat the enemy through Jesus’ blood and through our testimony. Our testimony is a weapon! Wow, I don’t know about you but this gets me EXCITED; the stories of God moving in my life are just as powerful as Jesus’ blood! The blood that was shed for us on the cross has given us freedom, healing and acceptance. It brought us into God’s family and broke the chains of shame and sin that bound us, and testimony releases much of the same power.
Have you ever heard someone share a testimony at a gathering and suddenly the whole room erupts? People are crying, the worship team is going crazy and it’s obvious that God is on the move.
Other times, someone testifies and it’s like God told them to share just for you because they went through exactly what you’re going through right now. Suddenly you’re convinced that “He who began the good work within you, will bring it to completion” (Philippians 1:6, ESV).
What would it look like if the Thanksgiving holiday became known as a day of testimony?
What if revival were to break out during our meals and guests start giving their lives to Jesus after hearing story after story of breakthrough, healing, provision and mercy? What if the Sunday after Thanksgiving became one of the busiest Sundays of the year?
It might sound crazy but it’s so possible!
The Gospel story of Jesus, the Son of God, started in the little town of Bethlehem but has spread to every corner of the earth in every generation since Jesus ascended into Heaven.
We only confess Jesus as Lord right now because a bunch of people refused to stay silent about all they had seen and experienced!
Maybe it’s because stories about Jesus are just that good?
Friends, the world needs our testimony and the Father demands that we share it.
The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead rests on the words we speak when we publicly remember all that God has done for us. Our lives are evidence of the Good News, and the perfect day to share this news is coming!
Can you be brave and go against the idea that 2020 was the worst year ever, and say that you have countless moments where Jesus was so good to you? Can you show up to dinner expecting that someone will give their life to Jesus that night?
The Gospel of John ends with John’s certainty that if we were to write down all the wonderful things Jesus has done, there wouldn’t be enough space in the whole world (John 21:25). I’m sure it’s true but it doesn’t mean that we can’t try!
“Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” John 21:25
Have a thankful Thanksgiving my friends, and be sure to drink lots of water – you’re gonna be doing a lot of talking!
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