Happy Thanksgiving

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  • It is the end of a long, good day. I am winding down now, preparing for bed. At this point, it’s been more than twenty-four hours since I have slept. I pulled an all-nighter last night to finish my message for our Thanksgiving Day service this morning. My message was on the story of Mephibosheth in 2 Samuel 9. I was going to call it, “Surprised by Grace.”

    I did not get to preach my message this morning. Our Thanksgiving service is the one service of the year our congregation has open-floor testimonies. The past several years, I have been careful to limit how much time we spend on this part of the service, because I have had guest preachers. But I was not as attentive to the time today. Plus, there are members who have had to trust God through many trials this year. And I thought it would be best to give them time to testify. Consequently, our testimony period went for more than forty-five minutes – essentially taking all of my preaching time. I could have either rushed through the message or I could have plodded through and kept them much longer than normal. I decided to turn the service into a prayer meeting, saving Mephibosheth for Sunday morning – when I can preach it all!

    Crystal cooked. Family came by. And we spent a slow, leisurely afternoon enjoying one another’s company. We ate. We talked. We watched some television. We told old stories. We laughed a lot. We thanked God for his goodness. Our guests are gone now. We have finished cleaning up – under compulsion from Crystal’s threats! And it will not be long before we are sleep. But before I turned in, I just wanted to say “Happy Thanksgiving,” even though the day has come to an end. The holiday is over. But the occasion has not change. “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thess. 5:18, ESV)


    H.B. Charles Jr.

    Pastor-Teacher at the Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church of Jacksonville and Orange Park, Florida.