Psalm 100:3-5 (NIV)
3 Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his[a];
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
It is believed that the first Thanksgiving celebration took place in 1621. This feast was attended by both Pilgrims and Indians who joined together to thank God for their bountiful harvest of the previous year. This celebration was continued by the first American colonies, and later by the United States, as a time of thanksgiving for the blessings that God had bestowed upon the American people.
The official Thanksgiving Day holiday was started in 1863 when Abraham Lincoln, at the end of the Civil War, asked Americans to set aside the last Thursday of November as a day of thanksgiving to God for the blessings He had shown to America (one of which was an end to the Civil War).
In 1939 FDR moved the holiday to the prior week. He did this to help businesses by giving them a longer holiday shopping period. Finally, in 1941 the fourth Thursday in November was declared by Congress to be the official holiday of Thanksgiving.
Clearly, the Thanksgiving holiday began, and was continued, as a time to give thanks to God for the blessings He has bestowed upon our country and its individual citizens. Most presidents in their Thanksgiving Day proclamation clearly declare that the day is set aside to give thanks to God for the blessings He has given to us. One example of this is George Bush’s Thanksgiving Day proclamation of 1990…
“Now, therefore, I, George Bush, president of the United States of America, do hereby call upon the American people to observe Thursday, November 22, 1990, as a National Day of Thanksgiving and to gather together in homes and places of worship on that day of thanks to affirm by their prayers and their gratitude the many blessings God has bestowed upon us.”
There can be no doubt, historically, Thanksgiving is a day set aside for giving thanks to God Almighty for His many blessings He has given to us. This Thanksgiving Day let us be sure to verbally explain to those around us the wonderful history behind the celebration. Also, let us be sure that we all have a true thankful attitude towards our God for all His manifold gifts of grace He has given to each of us.
We as Christians should treat every day as Thanksgiving.
“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. “ (1Th 5:18)
Dear Lord, we thank You for all You do for us. Help us not just be thankful on Thanksgiving day. Give us a thankful heart. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.