“Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song.” – Psalm 95:1
The first Thanksgiving was held by the Pilgrim settlers in Massachusetts during their second winter in December 1621. Only 58 of the original 102 settlers had survived the first winter. Governor William Bradford established December 13, 1621 as a day of Thanksgiving as God had provided an abundant summer’s crop.
According to historical documents, about 80 friendly Indians joined the celebration and brought wild turkeys and venison. Since that time, Thanksgiving has been celebrated as a day to give thanks to God for His gracious and sufficient provision.
President Abraham Lincoln officially established the last Thursday of November, in 1863, “as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father.” Congress ruled that after 1941, the fourth Thursday of November be observed as Thanksgiving Day and be a legal holiday.
As God’s children, we have more to be thankful for than any group of people in our country. Paul writes in Ephesians 2:11-13, “Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called ‘uncircumcised’ by those who call themselves ‘the circumcision’…remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship…without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.”
Paul tells us to remember from whence we have come. There is no better time than Thanksgiving to remember and to have a thankful heart, that now, we, who are in Christ, belong to God, and can look forward to the coming Thanksgiving meal that is waiting for us in heaven known as the Wedding Supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:7-9)!
Happy Thanksgiving and may God bless you richly in the coming year.