Thanksgiving is much more than Indians and pilgrims, turkey and dressing, or Snoopy and Superhero balloons floating down 6th Avenue in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Thanksgiving Day is a distinctive holiday. It doesn’t commemorate a battle or anyone’s birthday or anniversary. It is simply a day set aside to express our nation’s thanks to our nation’s God. In 1789, George Washington made this public proclamation. It reads in part:

“By the President of the United States of America. A proclamation: Whereas, it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor, – and

“Whereas, both Houses of Congress have by their joint committee requested me ‘to recommend to the people of the United States a day of Public Thanksgiving and Prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God….’

“Now, Therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be….”

The Allen family has lots to be thankful for in 2019. My four children are all productive and healthy. Little Arabelle, my sixth grandchild, entered the world, and all six of my grandchildren continue to bring joy to our lives. Kate has had a fabulous year as a Financial Advisor with Edward Jones. She and I just returned from South Korea and have been invited back for the next two years by the Korean Baptists to lead Preaching Conferences across the country. My work at Southwestern Seminary continues to go well and the School of Preaching is growing. My latest book on the atonement was published in April. I have enjoyed serving as the Interim Pastor at First Baptist Church, Sunnyvale, TX, since the summer. God is good.

As you gather around the Thanksgiving table this year, take a moment to  read Psalm 100 . . . and be grateful to God:

Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.

Serve the Lord with gladness;

Come before Him with joyful singing.

Know that the Lord Himself is God;

It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;

We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Enter His gates with thanksgiving

And His courts with praise.

Give thanks to Him, bless His name.

For the Lord is good;

His lovingkindness is everlasting

And His faithfulness to all generations.

Most of all, we are thankful for Jesus. He is the ultimate reason we can be thankful about . . . anything!

As Paul said in 2 Corinthians 9:15: “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!”