“Let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of his deeds in songs of joy!” (Psalms 107:22 )
This Thursday, November 28, 2019 is our American Thanksgiving celebration, a tradition that has been around since the colonies were originally settled. Americans traditionally recognize the “first” Thanksgiving as having taken place at Plymouth colony in the autumn of 1621. The Pilgrims held a feast after their first harvest as a way of thanking God for their blessings. They also invited members of the neighboring Wampanoag tribe to join them.
Time passed and the colonies merged to form a new country and these “Americans” were familiar with setting aside days of thanksgiving, prayer, and fasting in response to significant events. On October 3, 1789, President George Washington issued a proclamation naming Thursday, November 26, 1789 as an official holiday of “sincere and humble thanks.” The nation then celebrated its first Thanksgiving as a national day of thanksgiving to recognize the role of Almighty God in creating the new United States. Later, President Abraham Lincoln took steps to make it a permanent federal holiday.
This Thursday, as we gather with our families, friends and neighbors to partake in this bountiful harvest of delicious foods, sparkling beverages, and pastries of all types, our prayer is that we all who are called “Americans” can come together as those first settlers and First Nation peoples did to “thank God for all of our blessings!”
The greatest blessing that God has given to us and the world is Jesus, the Christ, the unique son of God. Jesus was sent into the world to give us the solution to our two greatest problems: death and sin.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:16-17)
We invite you to come and see for yourself this greatest gift we are so thankful for among all of the abundant blessings and freedoms we enjoy in these United States of America! We close with these words from the song “America the Beautiful”:
God shed his grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood,
from sea to shining sea.”