Summary: Thanksgiving should be everyday
It’s believed that in November 1621 after the Pilgrims first corn harvest, Governor William Bradford organized a feast and invited some of the pilgrims Native American friends, particularly the Wampanoag tribe. Americas first Thanksgiving which was probably not called that by the Pilgrims, was a festival that lasted three days. Now there are no exact menus from that first Thanksgiving but a guy named Edward Winslow wrote in his journal that the Governor sent four men on a fowling expedition and the Wampanoag guest arrived with 5 deer. Most of the dishes were probably prepared from the fresh harvest using traditional Native American spices and cooking methods. More than likely there wasn’t the big dessert table that we see today.
Thanksgiving officially became a holiday during the civil war way back in 1863. President Lincoln issued a proclamation asking all Americans to ask God to “commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife” and to “heal the wounds of the nation.” He scheduled Thanksgiving for the final Thursday in November. Then in 1939 Roosevelt moved the Holiday up a week trying to help the economy out during the great depression. Then in 1941 a bill was signed making Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November.
Well that’s enough History lesson for tonight let’s look at our scripture Psalm 100:3-5
3 Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his[a];
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
His faithfulness continues through all generations.
It seems that Thanksgiving started out as a way to thank God for a bountiful harvest , then President Lincoln used it as a way to encourage people to pray , and now it seems it’s all about eating and football games.
What does that word thanksgiving mean anyway? Well it’s defined as a prayer expressing gratitude. A public Acknowledgement or celebration of God’s goodness.
We all see Thanksgiving as a day to be thankful for the things we have. Now being thankful is just being conscious of a benefit we have received.
The sad thing is if you look at people today, even Christians it seems that we are hardly thankful about anything.
It seems that we are more like the Israelites when Moses was trying to lead them out of Egypt. “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.”
God heard them and gave them Manna. And before long that wasn’t good enough so they started complaining “If only we had meat to eat! Remember all that free fish we ate in Egypt and the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now all we ever see is this Manna I am sick of it!”