George Washington first proclaimed the Holiday of Thanksgiving after a request by Congress. Thomas Jefferson chose not to observe the holiday, and its celebration was intermittent until President Abraham Lincoln, in 1863, proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens”. This leads me to ask the question, “How many of the 85% of Americans who eat Thanksgiving dinner know who we are being thankful to?” Along with his declaration that Thanksgiving would be celebrated every last Thursday in November, Lincoln called upon the American people to humbly and repentantly ask God to heal the wounds of the nation caused by the Civil War. Lincoln centered the day on the Lord.
Do we remember this thankfulness to God when we celebrate that day with lavish parades and gluttonous dinners? Hey…. I love Thanksgiving dinner, but I don’t think many Americans truly make thanking God the centerpiece for the day. The Lord not only deserves our thanks on Thanksgiving Day, He deserves our thanks every day. In Ephesians 5:19-20, the apostle Paul say’s: “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” Paul made it clear that our giving of thanks is to be continual in spite of our circumstances, not just when everything is going well. As I reflect on my Christian walk, I wish I could say that I am continually thankful…but if I am honest, I must admit my need to work harder on that. Maybe we should all commit to an attitude of thanks-living! The deeper I go into God’s Word, the more evident it becomes that I must truly possess an attitude of gratitude.
As we prepare to have Thanksgiving this month, let us understand that God doesn’t want our thanksgiving to be limited to one Thursday in November. God wants us to continue to thank Him. As Paul says in Philippians 4:4-7: 4 Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. 5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
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In The Lord’s service till the last fish is caught, <><