The Thanksgiving holiday is one defined by turkey and stuffing, pumpkin and pecan pies, and NFL football (usually a game involving the, love them or hate them, Dallas Cowboys). It’s a day that many of us make a trip “back home”, bringing families together for a couple of days. These are all good things, even the best of things (especially if you love pecan pie, like me). But I’m afraid the main point of this day is being missed by far too many of us.
Back in 1620, when the Pilgrims arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts to escape the religious persecution of Europe, a brutally cold and snowy winter met them. Over the following few months, nearly half of the Pilgrims had died. Their situation seemed hopeless. However, with the help from their new friends, the Indians native to the land, they had a bountiful harvest come autumn. So much to be grateful, they declared a 3-day festival, in the words of Pilgrim Edward Winslow, to “rejoice together.” He went on to say, “And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are far from want.”
This was, and still is, the real meaning of this national Day of Thanksgiving. To come together and celebrate, with loved ones, the goodness and faithfulness of God. (History fact: In 1789, George Washington proclaimed the day set aside for “Thanksgiving and prayer…to the Almighty God.”). To reflect on all of the reasons we have today to be truly thankful. And while I hope you enjoy the food and football (How ’bout them Cowboys!), I really wish that you come to the point where you find God and thank Him, who is the source of all your blessings.
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” Psalm 107:1, NIV.