Last week, Americans celebrated Thanksgiving Day. I couldn’t help but think how blessed I am to live in the United States of America, where we have so much while people in many countries are born into poverty and turmoil. As Christians, we should demonstrate our thankfulness by our actions.
We spent the holiday in Texas with my daughters and our grandchildren. Living in Michigan and being able to travel to Texas impressed upon me the affluence that exists in some parts of our country compared to the circumstances in some other countries. One of my daughters lives in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, where there are groups of people living in what we call poverty.
We went by one of the churches in that impoverished area, where they conduct a ministry to feed those who don’t have enough to eat. Laid out on eight-foot tables were trays of whole turkey meat, stuffing, yams, green beans, and pies. A sign above the tables read, “No questions asked; come and enjoy a Thanksgiving meal from your Christian friends.” The reason for “no questions asked” is that most of those living in the area are illegal immigrants who have come to America with nothing but what they have on their backs.
I am involved with several Christian organizations that provide food and water to needy people in African countries. They have pictures of emaciated children holding a leaf, which is all the food they will have for that day. The Carter Foundation, begun by Jimmy and Roselyn Carter, has been drilling wells and providing medical help to people suffering from dirty water and unsanitary food. The Carters make it clear that their work is because of their Christian faith.
Jesus answered the question of who has truth and who does not by telling His followers, “By their fruits you shall know them.” I don’t see atheist organizations or skeptical groups supplying food for needy people. I have seen these groups push for social rights, but the basic need of most people on planet Earth is food and water. Atheists and skeptics are concerned with racism and various human rights, as we all are, while doing nothing to address the fundamental needs of most people.
I hope you enjoyed Thanksgiving and that you are genuinely thankful. Having an attitude of gratitude is fundamental to being a Christian. Seeing and acting on the needs of the less fortunate is a way to demonstrate our thankfulness.
— John N. Clayton © 2023