"Thanksgiving Art": Ever wondered if anyone searches online for such a category of art? In the exciting world we live in today, where the appetite for information (useful and otherwise) is insatiable, there are actually many such queries! What exactly are people looking for, I wonder? Clip art of turkeys, Pilgrims and ears of corn?
All I create is in a sense "Thanksgiving Art", not because those are my subjects, but because gratitude, at core of my being, cannot help but find its way onto canvas, paper, or press its way into clay. For me, withholding appreciation to the Creator for the ability to create at all, would leave me with little left to say. Thanksgiving flows into praise, which loops back into such a sense of joy!
I know Jesus and He is my dearest friend. I can hardly help being thankful! When I consider all that He has done for me, I am overwhelmed. As a result, almost without striving much for it, art happens. Would that qualify as "Thanksgiving Art"? Why not?
Every year at this time, we faithfully gather together and enjoy feasts of plenty in order to pause and be openly thankful. But thankful to whom? In an era of open hostility to those who believe in God, the warmth of gratitude is swallowed up in the bizarre exclusion of its object. Few stop to consider how illogical it is to "be thankful" without someone to be grateful to? That would be as absurd as writing out an elaborate Thank You card, carefully placing it in a fancy envelope, stamping it, feeling joyous about the whole endeavor and then sending it to no one!! The act of denying God, which has become so prevalent, either vehemently or apathetically, makes Thanksgiving an empty ritual with little meaning, other than the warm fuzzies that such traditions bestow.
While it may seem that you or I can possibly do little about it, I sense God prompting me otherwise. I am convinced that a single yielded soul in partnership with the Lord wields enormous power. As Christian artists, each of us can persist in creating our own brand of "Thanksgiving Art", boldly and creatively proclaiming our gratitude to God. Despite how it may appear, this is not an exercise in insanity or futility.
Elijah once thought he was alone and outnumbered, but God showed him otherwise. There is always more going on than is immediately apparent. God has others He calls His own who will join you, if you do not shrink back. God also has those He may intend to woo through you, yet only if you do not shy away from the task at hand.
I am reminded of that strange phenomenon in a theatre when the curtain has dropped on the last scene; there is a brief pause when the audience is still digesting the finale, unsure whether the play really is over. Everyone sits in silence, until someone begins to applaud. It doesn’t take much, does it? Soon others join in and the theatre erupts in applause. Of course given the hostility to things of faith, it may not be that simple.
Someone sensibly observed that the lighthouse is not expected to go out and find every lost ship in the ocean. All it has to do is to shine brilliantly!
Even if the night is dark and lost ships are still miles away on a churning, dangerous sea, our job is still only to shine and trust that some little light will indeed reach them, if we refrain from quitting. Shining is no more than an act of reflecting Christ, since we certainly have no light of our own and to assume any is an act of vanity. Ah, but the precious privilege of shining His light by our worship, praise and thanksgiving!
1 Pet 2-9 "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light."
Psa 147:1 "Praise the LORD. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him!"
I am mindful of all this as I head into a reverent season of Thanksgiving, offering up my "Thanksgiving Art", inadequate though it may seem to me, to a great and generous God, who has more than blessed me this year! Why don't you join me and do the same?!
Have a blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving!