Summary: In light of the sacrifice of Christ, we must not deny God our sacrifices of praise and good works.
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THANKSGIVING DAY OR TURKEY DAY?
Have you noticed that many people now refer to Thanksgiving Day as “Turkey Day”? Why?
“Although they knew God [through creation], they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him” (Romans 1:21). Mankind refused to give thanks to God for earthly blessings, such as sunshine, rain, and harvest. Instead, they “worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator” (v. 25).
Sadly, Thanksgiving has become a day when people worship a created thing (a turkey) rather than the Creator.
Blaise Pascal, the 17th century mathematician and philosopher, said, “Man’s sensitivity to small things, and his insensitivity to the most important things, are surely evidences of a strange disorder.”
Perhaps the reason why many people switching “Thanksgiving Day” with “Turkey Day” is because they don’t want to give thanks to God for the good things in their lives. They’re like Bart Simpson, who prayed, “Dear God, we paid for this stuff ourselves, so thanks for nothing.”
Before the Israelites entered the promised land, they were warned, “Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth” (Deuteronomy 8:17-18). We sometimes need to be reminded that “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above” (James 1:17). “Always give credit where credit is due.”
Governor William Bradford of Massachusetts is believed to have made the first Thanksgiving proclamation three years after the Pilgrims settled at Plymouth:
Inasmuch as the Great Father has given us this year of an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, peas, beans, squashes, and garden vegetables, and has made the forest to abound with game and the sea with fish and clams, and inasmuch as He has spared us from pestilence and disease, has granted us freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience. Now I, your magistrate, do proclaim that all ye Pilgrims, with your wives and ye little ones, do gather at ye meeting house, on ye hill, between the hours of nine and twelve in the daytime, on Thursday, November 29th, in the year of our Lord One Thousand Six Hundred and Twenty-Three, and the third year since ye Pilgrims landed on ye Pilgrim Rock, there to listen to ye pastor and render thanksgiving to ye Almighty God for all His blessings.
On January 31, 1957, the Canadian Parliament proclaimed: “A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed ... is to be observed on the second Monday in October.”
The tradition of Thanksgiving was born out of the realization that all good things come from God and that He deserves our gratitude.