Thanksgiving Day is a holiday celebrated in the United States and Canada. Its origin is a matter of debate, but most likely it is based on the traditional “first Thanksgiving” harvest meal shared in 1621 at the Plymouth Colony Plantation by the Pilgrims and a group of native Americans. Thanksgiving is generally observed on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States. It is often a day for watching football games, parades, and TV specials. It usually begins the Christmas shopping season (known as Black Friday) and ushers in the start of Christmas cards, tree trimming, gift wrapping, and family gatherings. This holiday provides a valuable opportunity for the strengthening of family bonds, expressions of gratitude, and a reminder of God’s rich blessings.
Wikipedia states, “The first Thanksgiving feast lasted three days providing enough food for 53 pilgrims and 90 Native Americans. The feast consisted of fowl, venison, fish, lobster, clams, berries, fruit, pumpkin, and squash. William Bradford noted that, "besides waterfowl, there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many”, probably gave rise to the American tradition of eating turkey at Thanksgiving.”
As Christians, we acknowledge God’s goodness and provision in our expression of Thanksgiving. God’s Word implores us to give thanks to Him. Both Old and New Testament books of the Bible encourage us to have an attitude of gratitude. Psalm 50:14 tells us to, “Offer to God thanksgiving.” Psalm 95:2 says, “Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving…” The Apostle Paul, in Philippians 4:6 declares, “…in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” We are to develop and display a grateful heart.
One of my favorite psalms is 136. It begins with verses 1-3 - thanking God for His Goodness. "Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Oh, give thanks to the God of gods! For His mercy endures forever. Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords! For His mercy endures forever." So much we have to be thankful for! Our families, our health, our jobs, our homes, and our ability to worship unhindered.
Thank Jesus for your salvation. If we had nothing else to be thankful for, that would be sufficient. Oh, how we thank Him for rescuing us from certain destruction and eternal doom. In II Corinthians 9:15 Paul says this, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!”