Headmaster Blog: Thanksgiving, a Forgotten Holiday?
by Ken Lopez
This time of year, we are all aware of the urgency to begin the Christmas season, particularly by those with a commercial interest in the holidays. Stores replace Halloween costumes with candy canes, ornaments, and Santa’s elves. This year the endless election commercials have been exchanged for an abundance of promptings on how to spend your money during the Christmas season.
Yes, as families we may enjoy the time away from work to stuff a turkey and ourselves with a meal while finding time to watch some football. As a nation, however, we have all but designated Thanksgiving as the forgotten holiday, as many people join the madness of Black Friday, which now includes the day for which we supposedly have set aside to be thankful. I guess we could be thankful for the new, larger screen TV we snag, the digital gadget, or the latest, greatest toy we secure.
Without sounding like a grumbling Pilgrim, I suggest that we enjoy and celebrate Thanksgiving, while acknowledging our Christian heritage and preparing for the celebration of the birth of our Savior! There are, in fact, few attributes that reflect true Christian character more than being thankful. The word thanks appears more than 70 times in the Bible, and the word thanksgiving is found more than 25 times. It is clear that God expects us to practice the habit and attitude of thankfulness.
Being thankful is rooted in the recognition that God has created us, not in just a biological sense, but in realizing that He is responsible for all we can ever accomplish or enjoy. Psalm 100:3 says, Know that the Lord, He is His God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves. That is very difficult for many Americans who have abandoned God and His Word, who have exalted themselves as god, and are not interested in being grateful to anyone.
Even as God’s people, we can become ingrates when we don’t or won’t take the time to truly thank God and others who have blessed us. We must ask God to give us a grateful heart and then practice true thanksgiving which always results in us actually thanking other people who have been thoughtful to us and our needs. Jesus emphasized this principle when He healed the 10 lepers, and only one made the effort to return to Him and offer thanks. Jesus asks the one who returned an intriguing question: Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this (one) foreigner? (Luke 17:17)
Perhaps Jesus would be asking us the same question when we brush aside Thanksgiving and indulge ourselves in all the wonderful blessings God has showered on us without stopping to offer our thanksgiving to Him and to others. Where are the nine? At the mall, watching another game, or refilling our plates with leftovers?
I believe Thanksgiving deserves better. Let’s take the time this year to praise and worship the Lord and find people in our lives who need to hear us say THANK YOU.
Mr. Ken Lopez, our headmaster and blogger of the week, sets the example for the HCA community with his thankful heart. Ken and his wife, Robbin (former HCA teacher), have 3 daughters (all HCA grads), and a whole bunch of wonderful grandchildren. Ken and Robbin extend to you their hearts of gratitude for your support and dedication to our school and ministry.