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Thanksgiving Traditions
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What Thanksgiving traditions does your family hold? For the first nine Thanksgivings of my life, things were pretty much routine. Mom would get up at the crack of dawn to begin making the entire dinner from scratch. My siblings and I would sit in front of the TV watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade. And Dad would do whatever mom asked. The dinner was always a festive time, and then my siblings and I would wash the dishes afterwards.

Then came my tenth Thanksgiving. And that was the probably the best Thanksgiving of my life. Less than a week before, my family had all been baptized. We hadn’t known about Jesus for very long. The summer before, a relative who came to visit had accidentally left a Bible at our house. At the time, Dad was looking for some meaning in his life, and took the Bible down from the bookshelf. He read it late into the night for several nights, and then gave his life to God. Then he used the Bible to teach Mom and us kids about Jesus and His love.

When Thanksgiving came, Dad read from that same Bible at the dinner table. He then he laid it there among the food dishes. It belonged there. It had given us a new life. Before prayer, Dad asked each of us to share something that we were thankful for—a tradition we carry on today. Then we held hands and prayed. We had so much to be thankful for that year!

Place It on the Table

Dad still has that Bible, and this Thanksgiving he will once again place it on the table—a table that has been greatly extended to include spouses, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. And once again, we will all be thankful that as a family we found God, and gave our lives to Him years ago. What a difference Jesus has made in our lives! Who knows what this Thanksgiving would be like if Dad hadn’t taken that Bible down and read it.

Why not bring a Bible to your Thanksgiving table this year? You can choose a text ahead of time that fits your unique family journey, or you can read a general text of thanksgiving, such as this one from Psalm 100:

“Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth! Worship the Lord with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy. Acknowledge that the Lord is God! He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.”

I can’t think of a better Thanksgiving tradition.

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By Nancy Canwell. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW LIVING TRANSLATION © copyright 1996.

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