The True Meaning of Thanksgiving


The True Meaning of Thanksgiving


As someone living in America who loves words, I obviously know what “Thanksgiving” means: Eating until you’re so stuffed you pass out.

Which is why I was so shocked while reading the dictionary the other day to discover: it has ANOTHER definition.

I guess I should have known – considering it’s made up of smaller words “Thanks” and “giving.” Not to mention, “attitude of gratitude” is one of those “gotta be true because it rhymes” things, like Thanksgiving’s own version of Jesus being “the reason for the season.” (And sorry, but “attitude of fat-itude” just doesn’t have the same ring.)

I think it’s the “giving” part that still catches me most off guard – a lot of us live like it should be called “Thanksgetting.” That’s probably the worst name for a holiday ever – especially in light of Acts 20:35.

It always trips me out to see that verse in red – certain Bibles put Jesus’ words in red ink, but this verse is toward the end of Acts, long after Jesus left the disciples to speak their own black ink sermons. How is there red ink 19 chapters AFTER the ascension???

Paul is sharing a direct quote from Jesus here, but it’s nothing that Jesus is recorded to have said in the gospels. I get the feeling that for people who had been around Jesus, it was something they heard from Him all the time – kind of like when we recite familiar words from a relative even years after they’ve passed. “It’s like they always said…” – this is one of those quotes from Jesus, a secret of how the universe was originally designed to work:

“It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

Last week, we kicked off Adopt A Family, and John Ing shared about an opportunity on December 10 to give your first gift this Christmas to God. I hope this Christmas, our truest joy comes not from getting what we want, but from giving and helping someone else to be blessed.


Dave Brubaker is Newsong’s Communications Pastor and movie lover. If you want to get involved with Adopt A Family, go to If you didn’t get to read John’s letter, please check it out below.


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Dear Family,

For those of us who are parents, we find ourselves remarking quite often how time flies. This is especially true during this time of year. Is next week Thanksgiving already?!?

Indeed, we are in the last days of November and signs of the Christmas season are everywhere. But before we deck the halls, let’s take a moment to delight in Thanksgiving and remind ourselves of our Heavenly Father’s faithfulness and abundant blessings.

We are especially thankful this year to our generous Father for His provision toward the purchase of our beautiful campus. We are thankful for our staff, both new and old, who serve the Kingdom with humility and passion. And we are thankful for what God is continuing to stir up in Santa Ana and for the role that He has for Newsong to make meaningful and loving impact beyond the walls of our church both locally and globally. Amen!

As we approach year-end, we know that many of you are prayerfully considering your year-end giving plans. We will be mailing out a copy of your Year-to-Date Giving Statement by month’s end. 
On Sunday, December 10, we will be doing a second offering where the Newsong family can give our first gift of the Christmas season to God. Between now and then, please take time to prayerfully consider how He is challenging your family to give out of a heart of abundance. Let’s pray for sacrificial giving, but also that there would be joy as we join in what He is doing through Newsong!

You may go online to to make your gift (select Year-End Love Offering), or give your offering on December 10 during service. 
May God bless you and your family as we continue the exciting journey that God has for Newsong! Let’s do this together!

“You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” –2 Corinthians 9:11