The Thanksgiving holiday is soon approaching. When we think of the word “Thanksgiving”, many images of food, family gatherings, fall decorations, football, naps, and celebrations come to mind. Some of these things describe the Thanksgiving holiday as we know it, but these things do not represent the true purpose of Thanksgiving.
How it became what we mimic today as a vision of the first Thanksgiving meal.
In the early settlement of the Pilgrims to the New World, the Wampanoag tribe Native Americans had a very harsh winter with food shortages. Squanto, who lived among the Wampanoag, taught the Pilgrims how to farm more effectively in the new world. After the first harvest, the 3-day feast began. The purpose of their Thanksgiving was to dedicate themselves to God with a day of prayer, humility, and giving thanks for God’s Providence.
Thanksgiving has been celebrated as a federal holiday every year since the American Civil War of 1863. President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens,” to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November.
Giving thanks to God has taken place since creation.
All throughout the Bible we are reminded to give thanks.
2 Chronicles 4:15
All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
2 Chronicles 9:11
You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
No one says we should only use one day a year to be thankful! It is my belief that we should be thankful daily and there is no need to wait for Thanksgiving to share this gratitude with ourselves or others. We should givethanks every day to God for all he has done for us.
1 Chronicles 16:34
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.