On Thursday November 24, 2016 we will celebrate Thanksgiving. Certainly with so many blessing abounding in our land we should be thankful. There are three things that stand out to me about Thanksgiving. The first is who are we grateful to? The second is what are we grateful for? The third is what does our gratitude look like?
According to one website these are the words of George Washington in declaring Thanksgiving.
“Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and
Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me ‘to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:’
Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be;…”
As Christians we note President Washington had no problem acknowledging God. In answer to the first inquiry – God is the one we are grateful to. Again as Christians we acknowledge God’s hand in the ministry of rescue. We are grateful that in 1937 businessmen in Fairmont met and founded Union Mission in response to God’s leading. It is the vision of men under the guidance of God that has brought to this time and ministry.
In answer to the second inquiry … we at West Virginia Rescue Ministries are grateful for every opportunity to feed the hungry and house the homeless God gives us. We are thankful for every life God sends our way. We pray God allows us to effect eternity through our labor.
In answer to the third inquiry … our gratitude becomes our labor – cooking the meals, making the beds, sweeping the floor, giving a smile, and above all pointing men, women, and children to the cross of Christ. It is because we are grateful for every opportunity that we act in accordance with God’s calling.
We recognize that every one of the staff and community supporters that came before us is why we are here today. We recognize that the continued support of this community sustains our present day ministry. We are grateful to God for you! We pray God continues to use you in this ministry of rescue.
Thank you and “Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!” 2 Corinthians 9:15(ESV)
George E. Batten