So I have a confession, while most people are either decorating early for Christmas or complaining about people decorating early for Christmas, I’m happily unpacking my collection of cornucopias thrilled that it’s finally their time of year.
A Horn of Plenty
What’s a cornucopia?! You may be asking, and understandably so. They’ve mostly fallen out of popularity in recent decades and only make an appearance in some Thanksgiving decorations. Aside from their use as a centerpiece, cornucopias are meant to be a symbol of abundance.
Cornu meaning “horn” in Latin and copia meaning “plenty, is where they get their name. Originally cornucopias were made of actual horns from a goat or ram but now you’ll find them as those odd shaped baskets full of fruits, vegetables, and floral arrangements.
Growing up my first memory of cornucopias were Thanksgiving cupcakes topped with a Bugle chip as the cornucopia and Runts candy as the “plenty” spilling out of it.
Through all those random childhood crafts I somehow came to really appreciate the significance of the horn of plenty and how it helped set our heart’s intentions as we enter into Thanksgiving.
See the one problem I have with Thanksgiving is that we only do it once a year, and even then it gets treated as a gateway to Christmas rather than significant in its own right. The act of giving thanks and cultivating a heart of gratitude should be a constant practice we engage in year round.
Leaning into Gratitude
As we receive today’s offering,
We are believing the Lord for:
Jobs and better jobs
Raises and bonuses
Sales and commissions
Estates and inheritances
Interests and income
Rebates and returns
Checks in the mail
Gifts and surprises
Debts paid off
Blessing and increase
Thank You, Lord,
for meeting all of my financial needs
that I may have more than enough
to give into the Kingdom of God
and promote the Gospel of
I don’t know of any other church where offering is more joyful than worship at times and is a favorite part of the service. And this offering reading has totally shifted my attitude about giving and gratitude.
Gratitude isn’t just about what we have. It’s about who we thank.
When we give thanks simply about what we already have we really aren’t living from abundance. We aren’t living with a horn of plenty.
Because the harvest in that cornucopia is already starting to decay, the joy of the things we have now is already starting to fade as our new wants and needs surface. Just look at how quickly we go from giving thanks on a Thursday to Black Friday with the highest single day spending all year!
Real gratitude and abundance is about our source. It’s about thanking God that no matter what need, dream, want, or heart’s desire comes, he has already been working on meeting it.
He doesn’t just know our heart’s desires he put them there. He doesn’t just stingily give us the bare minimum, he’s eagerly desiring to do, “exceedingly abundantly beyond all we could ask or imagine.” (Ephesians 3:20-21)
Our gratitude isn’t about what we receive it’s about knowing the nature of of the one who gives.
“Do you know of any parent who would give his hungry child, who asked for food, a plate of rocks instead? Or when asked for a piece of fish, what parent would offer his child a snake instead? If you, imperfect as you are, know how to lovingly take care of your children and give them what’s best, how much more ready is your heavenly Father to give wonderful gifts to those who ask him?” Matthew 7:9-11 TPT
And that ultimately he’s what we are most grateful for. Not the needs he meets, not heart’s desires. He’s our desired one. He’s the great reward. He’s worthy of all our thanks.
The other thing I love about my church’s offering reading is that it is prophetically declaring thanks for things that haven’t happened yet as well as thanking God for things that have already been provided.
Not in a “name it, claim it” way that carries an attitude of manipulation. But in a faithful, “I know how good my God is and I know his heart towards me.” As Hananiah, Misheal, and Azariah declared, “Our God will save us and even if he doesn’t we will still praise him.” Daniel 3:16-20 (paraphrase)
My husband and I went through a very rough season of him looking for a new job. It took almost a full year for that new job to come along but throughout that season we read the offering reading at home. As he applied, interviewed, and dealt with rejection, we declared thanks for “jobs and better jobs, raises and bonuses.”
As we saw things happen from the reading we put a little check on the print out we had of it to remind ourselves of God’s past provisions — a temporary job in which he got several raises, a surprise check in my PO Box, finding money (even when it was just nickels and dimes).
The other thing we did in this season was go through Money and the Prosperous Soul. More than just budgeting and financial literacy, Money and the Prosperous Soul helped us heal from poverty mentalities and our emotional hurts around money, finances, and success.
Even though it was a hard season, we were full of peace and gratitude for what we did have. And now that he finally does have a new job our hearts are still full of gratitude and an abundance mindset.
Fill Your Cornucopia
So this Thanksgiving, I challenge you to fill a cornucopia not just with thanks for the harvest you have, but with prophetic declarations of thanks for things you still have yet to receive. Maybe even get an actual cornucopia basket and fill it with reminders of things you are thankful for, reminders of the One we give thanks to, and declarations of prophetic thanks for things still yet to happen.