Thanksgiving Day in the USA was last Thursday, November 25th. This day is a federal holiday celebrated annually on the fourth Thursday of November. In 1863, it was President Abraham Lincoln who proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November. Now the holiday is a time that emphasizes giving thanks, prayer, feasting, spending time with family, religious services, football games and parades, and for many people a lot of shopping the day after. (https://www.history.com/topics/thanksgiving/history-of-thanksgiving)
Also, today Chanukah begins. The Hebrew word Chanukah or Hanukkah means “dedication” and is a Jewish holiday that lasts eight days to celebrate the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and freedom from oppression. (https://www.britannica.com) But, this is perhaps a topic for another blog. So, back to thanksgiving…
About 53 weeks ago, I dove headfirst into the blogging sea. The quiet splash began with a blog titled “Gratitude & Progress” which included: “In the spirit of Thanksgiving during these unprecedented times, we can find moments in each day to acknowledge the blessings that are evident. These blessings may include: appreciating a country founded on principles of equality and individual freedom; having the opportunity to succeed and be happy; living in vibrantly beautiful Colorado; being safe in the Kingdom of Heaven; having dear friends; being forever thankful for family; witnessing God’s bountiful provision which includes harmony and health.”
Well, for me, this still holds true today, and probably should every day. For as the Psalmist says regarding the Lord, “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.” (Psalm 100:4, 5, NKJV)
Whenever we enter the gates of Wide Horizon, we can be thankful to God for His bountiful blessings. For within these gates, we either directly perform or support the ministry of Christian Science nursing. The more we enter these gates with hearts filled with gratitude and praise, the more we witness divine provision and healing. The more we praise God with heartfelt gratitude, the more we experience the healing effect of divine Love. We can see His bountiful gifts of goodness and appreciate His mercy in all that we do in our daily work. We can praise Him by acknowledging the good works that take place in the symbolic courts or long halls of Wide Horizon. We work within Love’s mercy and strive to see His truth every day. Daily we seek to witness His glory and praise His holy name. And, as we bless one another, we then better acknowledge the nature of God, Spirit. For it is God’s perfect love that heals. This love is everlasting. It is divine Truth that endures and can free mankind. All of us – here or in the Wide community – can be blessed therefore by all the Christly good works done in Truth that occur each day at Wide Horizon.
“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.” (Psalm 136: 1, NKJV) In my role at Wide Horizon, daily I work to be thankful to the Lord for staff members who put self aside and serve Wide Horizon’s blessed guests with willing hearts. Even with the continual reminder of facemasks, I’m thankful when I witness a smile lovingly expressed – for this little gesture brightens all those who see or feel its glow. Words cannot adequately express my gratitude for such an excellent staff and for Wide’s many volunteers, including the very supportive Board of Directors, who actively and thankfully bless others from a basis of Love. So, join with us in heartfelt praise to God by affirming that “Love’s giving is forever,” (Christian Science Hymnal, 174).
Regarding being thankful and the quality of gratitude, Henri Frederic Amiel, a Swiss moral philosopher and poet of the 1800’s, wrote, “Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts.” Since I learned of this quote years ago, I’ve found it similar in context to one that is very familiar to most students of Christian Science.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, wrote, “Gratitude is much more than a verbal expression of thanks. Action expresses more gratitude than speech” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 3). As a former college English instructor, my action is sometimes expressed in the form of words. So, it is through this action of “blogging” that I’d like each of you to know how grateful I am for your support of Wide Horizon – whether as a donor, volunteer, blog reader, community member, or friend.
Also, I’m often thankful for staff who give service to others whom require care at Wide Horizon. I’m thankful for steadfastness in relying on God and Christian Science for healing. I’m thankful for guests and residents who appreciate and utilize Wide’s services. And, as I think about the future of Wide Horizon, I find it necessary to make time to reflect on all of the blessings that already abound from divine Love which are expressed daily at Wide Horizon.
For, “in every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18, KJV)
The Thanksgiving holiday is one that reminds us how important it is to be grateful every day throughout the year. As mentioned, we can be grateful to live in such a wonderful free country and in beautifully colorful states like Colorado. We can be thankful for Christian Science nursing, and grateful for the peaceful atmosphere at Wide Horizon that is conducive to spiritual healing. We can be thankful for spiritual facts of happiness, harmony, and health that God has bestowed upon us as His beloved children. We can be grateful for Christ Jesus, as our “Way-shower” in Christian living and oneness with God (Science and Health, p. 497).
Lastly, as Apostle Paul wrote: “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding with thanksgiving.” (Colossians 2:6-7, NRSV)
D. Brian Boettiger