"Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
Oh, give thanks to the God of gods!
For His mercy endures forever.
Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords!
For His mercy endures forever!" (Psalm 136: 1-3)
These days, I don't hear much on the "alphabet networks" (ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN) with which I agree or viewpoints with which I concur. However, on Thanksgiving morning, I tuned in to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on CBS, (as I am wont to do every year on this holiday.) I don't pay that close attention to what is said by the network hosts of the event. I enjoy having it on for the familiar sights and sounds and the general festive atmosphere it brings to the house. Nostalgic memories of days gone by mingle with preparations for present day celebrations. Along with the tastes and smells of the day, these thoughts and feelings are a recipe for deep reflection and heartfelt emotion.
Consequently, the personal thoughts of one of the commentators, Maggie Rodriguez, caught my attention. She expressed her appreciation for the fact that Thanksgiving is mainly about one thing---family! No shopping for gifts is required, no sending of cards, no decorating of the home, putting up of trees or lights or anything else; all that is required is a grateful heart, an awareness of blessings received and some loved ones with which to express these things.
I heartily agree with the aforementioned broadcaster! (And so does my wife!)
Therefore, Jennifer and I truly have enjoyed this particular week. On Tuesday, November 24th, she and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. The next day, our daughter, Danyel Misha, came home from college. We gathered that evening with some of her best girl friends from high school and had a pre-Thanksgiving feast, masterfully cooked by Jenny! The next day, (Thanksgiving Day), we ate leftovers---which always taste even better to me---and watched movies and just generally "hung out" with each other.
My extended family is not very big; the "tribes" of Goetz and Yaffee (my wife's maiden name) have shrunk considerably in this current era. Our household is small as well; it's just Jenny and Misha and I---and our old dog, Maggie!
In light of this fact, we are exceedingly thankful to God for the bounty of having one another to love and cherish and celebrate! We are reminded every day of the preciousness of life and the eternal value of the time we share together. I'm certain the same could be said for you and the ones you hold dear, no matter what that looks like.
Irrespective of our lot in life, this is a time to thank God for each and every blessing.
I wanted to take a moment to thank God for you and to send you holiday greetings from my family and me.
May this season bring with it joy, peace, health, prosperity and every good thing.
And if it is attended by "various trials," may God give the grace to "count it all joy, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience...that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." (James 1:2-4)
In consideration of all these matters, may I add to Ms. Rodriguez' much appreciated thoughts these closing words?
All who are believers in the one true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob---and followers of His Son, Yeshua Ha Mashiach, Messiah Jesus---ARE the family of God! That is to say, if you belong to Him, you BELONG! No one is truly alone who is a member of this divine household.
As it has been said, (and sung): "And we, being many, are one body in Messiah...and everyone members of one another...loving each other, with God as our father, who loves us as a mother loves her newborn child." (Romans 12:5)
Years ago, my family sang the above words on a video recording called "Psalm Enchanted Evening."
Misha was little then; she is no longer. I send this message to you with a current picture of her, along with her canine companion, Maggie.
We all wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season...in which we all GIVE THANKS!!
Marty and his mishpochah (family)