Today is Thanksgiving Day in America and gatherings and eating will take place in homes, restaurants, and institutions all over the country. Turkey and winter vegetables, along with all the fixings, will be eaten in abundance. What is all the celebrating about? Do you remember the reason we celebrate Thanksgiving Day as a national holiday?
Here’s a quick history lesson to refresh your memory:
President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863; however, the First Thanksgiving was declared by Governor Bradford, the first government official elected on American soil. Even though it was not called Thanksgiving in 1621, a bountiful harvest was taken and in a letter to a friend in England, Edward Winslow wrote the following, “Our harvest being gotten in, our Governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a more special manner rejoice together, after we had gathered the fruit of our labours. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the Company almost a week. At which Indians coming amongst us, and amongst the rest their greatest king, Massasoit with some 90 men, who for three days we entertained and feasted. And they went out and killed five deer which they brought to the plantation and bestowed on our Governor and upon the Captain and others”: by William Bradford (Author) Bradford: Of Plymouth Plantation. (This historical event is why, no doubt, we traditionally eat lots of food on Thanksgiving Day.)
Two years later, the Pilgrims held what was actually called Thanksgiving in 1623, which was a day of fasting, prayer, and praise to God for His provision, blessing, and care over them. This is where the phrase, “Give thanks” has its origin. (Many do not realize it was to the God of the Bible that they gave thanks because woke culture has sought to change our American Judeo-Christian history and heritage, sadly.)
In the book “Of Plymouth Plantation”, it is recorded that Governor Bradford wrote, “Thus out of small beginnings greater things have been produced by His hand that made all things of nothing, and gives being to all things that are; and, as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone unto many, yea in some sort to our whole nation; let the glorious name of Jehovah have all the praise.“
Being thankful to God for all of his blessings is what Thanksgiving Day is all about. Let our mouths proclaim with the Psalmist of Psalm 136 KJV, “O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. ” Happy Thanksgiving!