Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
Thanksgiving is fast approaching, how will we celebrate it this year? There's so much talk about what this year's holiday might look like without all of the traditional fanfare. Let's take a look at how Thanksgiving was first celebrated. As you know, Thanksgiving is an annual holiday celebrated in the United States on the fourth Thursday in November. The very first Thanksgiving was celebrated with three days of prayer and feasting by the Plymouth colonists in 1621. The first national Thanksgiving Day, proclaimed by President George Washington, was celebrated on Nov. 26, 1789. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving an annual holiday to be commemorated on the last Thursday in November according to the encyclopedia.
That is how Thanksgiving Day originated, but unfortunately, over time, it has lost much of its original intent. Perhaps this is the perfect time to abandon our traditions and bring back the true meaning of Thanksgiving and let it be a time for us to offer unto God our thankfulness for the multitude of blessings He has blessed us with. It is a perfect time to reflect upon what God has done in the past and to give thanks for what He promises to fulfill in the future. "Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving and pay your vows to the Most High." Psalm 50:14
If we were to celebrate this year's Thanksgiving with three days of prayer and feasting, what would that look like? I encourage you to read and meditate on God's Word:
1 Chronicles 16:8-12, a Psalm of Thanksgiving:
8"Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name; Make Known His deeds among the peoples."
9"Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; Speak of all His wonders."
10"Glory in His holy name Let the heart of those who seek the Lord be glad."
11"Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face continually."
12"Remember His wonderful deeds which He has done, His marvels and the judgments from His mouth."
As we prepare for this year's Thanksgiving, let us set aside time to be in His presence, giving thanks unto God and proclaiming to others just how blessed we are. There is so much to be thankful for even when we can no longer rely on our traditions to carry us through the special holidays. We have the air we breathe, the beauty of God's creation all around us, friends and family, and the assurance of God's mercies which are new every morning. We ought to thank God for our gift of salvation, it is only because of God's great love for us that we have been given the inheritance of eternal life through His one and only son, Jesus Christ.
Giving thanks always for all things in the name God and our Father, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.