Don't Forget Thanksgiving!
When you have eaten your fill and have built fine houses and live in them, and when your herds and flocks have multiplied, and your silver and gold is multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied, then do not exalt yourself, forgetting the LORD your God… (Deuteronomy 8:12-14a)
The people of Israel are about to cross over the Jordan River and enter the Promised Land, ending their forty-year journey through the wilderness that followed their escape from slavery in Egypt. But first, Moses has some advice for them: don’t forget!
As I get older, I am finding that advice applies to me more and more.
Don’t forget you need garbage bags next time you’re at the store.
Don’t forget to check in with (insert name) who has been sick.
Don’t forget your wife’s birthday.
The most important thing for me is don’t forget to write down whatever it is I don’t want to forget. I am a man of lists. Shopping lists. To-do lists. Don’t forget lists! Otherwise, I get busy doing something else or my mind gets preoccupied and before I know it, I have forgotten to even remember that there was something I didn’t want to forget.
That’s what Moses was afraid would happen to the people of Israel once they settled down in the Promised Land. They would get busy building their fine houses and tending their fine flocks and multiplying their blessings and they would forget about God and all God has done for them. Without God’s help, there would be no fine houses, or flocks, or blessings. They would still be slaves in Egypt. Don’t forget.
Next week is our annual celebration of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a time to remember. Remember God’s blessings. Remember God’s bounty. Remember God’s love and care for you and all of creation. Otherwise, we start to think we did it all on our own, and we exalt ourselves, and before we know it, we are worshiping ourselves or those idols that we have made by our own hands.
But these idols will never do for us what God has and will do for us. They will simply make us slaves all over again.
Next week is our annual celebration of Thanksgiving. Don’t forget.