Thanksgiving is going to look different this year for our family. Every other year we spend the holiday with all of my wife’s family in a big house we rent someplace on the east coast. This year we were headed to the mountains of North Carolina. Unfortunately, we canceled the family get together because of COVID-19 and concerns over my wife’s aging parents’ health. My parents died several years ago, and my only sibling lives in a different city. I’m hoping he’ll make it to our house. It’s easy in these kinds of circumstances to say, “Heck, what’s there to be thankful for?” Maybe your Thanksgiving plans have been disrupted as well, and you’re wondering what this year is going to be like.

I’ve been thinking about this very different Thanksgiving in the context of our theme for this school year “No Fear” based on Isaiah 12:2: “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” Is this the year that fear replaces thanks as we look forward to the holiday season? I hope you’ll agree with me when I shout a resounding “No way!” This is a time – like every time – to be most thankful to God. We’re thankful not just because of what we have, or for what we cling to out of fear it might be taken away, but because the most important things in our life are everlasting – the grace, love and mercy we have from Jesus Christ. Hear His words:

“Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.” Psalm 107:8-9

“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!” Psalm 107:1

“I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.” Psalm 7:17

I pray that this Thanksgiving you will embrace these words of God regardless of circumstance. No pandemic, no election, no storm can take away what God has freely given us. He will fill you up with His love, and His righteousness won for us at the cross is yours forever. Give thanks!