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Thanksgiving Holiday

Staff Member
Christians look forward to the time of the year when we celebrate two important holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas. These holidays have their beginnings and roots in Christian celebrations. The word holiday actually means "holy day"; hence these events should be remembered and celebrated in a holy manner. We have strayed from that purpose over the years as we have embraced many unholy practices and worldly customs and added them to our "holy days."


Thanksgiving is one of our main national holidays here in the U.S.A. A good question to ask is "Are we as Christians celebrating it the way the Lord would have us celebrate, or have we compromised with the world?" Have we lost the emphasis on thanksgiving and prayer and shifted it to a gluttonous feast of food, drink and games like those in the world have done? More and more the media is referring to this holiday as "turkey day" instead of Thanksgiving Day. They also eliminate the object of who we are to offer our thanks. We are just to be "thankful" we are told. Who should our thanks be directed to? The object of our thanks for our many blessings, should be directed to the Lord God. It should not just be a general "thanks."

The first American Thanksgiving was celebrated less than a year after the Christian Plymouth colonists had settled in the new land of America. The first Thanksgiving Day, set aside for the special purpose of prayer as well as celebration, was decreed by Governor William Bradford in July 30, 1623. There were harvest festivals, or days of thanking God for plentiful crops. During the Revolutionary War, eight special days of thanks were observed for victories and for being saved from dangers. On November 26, 1789, President George Washington issued a general proclamation for a day of thanks. Our national day of thanksgiving was proclaimed by President Lincoln in 1863 with these words, "a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father."

Today we still celebrate this national and legal holiday, but are we celebrating in the right manner as Christians? Are we forgetting the main purpose of this day is prayer and thanksgiving as we feast and fellowship? The Lord is not opposed to our feasting and our gathering of friends and family to dine, but if our only prayer is to ask God to bless our food are we not forgetting the real meaning of this day? God delights in blessing us as His children. However, do we, as His children delight in blessing Him with our prayers and thanks? Do our celebrations revolve more around the meal and the football game that follows, than around the discussion of the things we should be thankful for? Many are worshipping the idol of ball games on holidays instead of focusing on the true meaning of Thanksgiving. Let us ask God to forgive us and truly celebrate this day in real thanksgiving and prayer.

Psalm 75:1, "Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare."

Psalm 107:1, "O Give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever."