Thanksgiving and Repentance
You have lived on the earth in luxury and in pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. (James 5:5)May this verse humble us as we in the United States “fatten our hearts” on this Thanksgiving Day while people are slaughtered in the Middle East. Thanksgiving is something we must offer God continuously in recognition of God’s everlasting faithfulness and goodness to us. But thanksgiving, as the prophets made quite clear, also requires repentance for the ways we have squandered God’s gifts and rejected the covenant of grace.
In this time of great global conflict and moral chaos, in which many of us in America live “in luxury and in pleasure” while others in Iraq live in destitution, let us join in repentance as well as in thanksgiving. Let us strive to end the “day of slaughter” by seeking peace instead of violence, justice instead of inequity, selfless giving instead of selfish consumption, self-control rather than the control of others, love instead of apathy.