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Thanksgiving and “Thanks Living . . .”
November 27, 2019   |   Editorial, Holiday

dinner table set with dishes candles and a small turkey

Tomorrow is a National Holiday called Thanksgiving Day. For most people, the purpose of Thanksgiving is to celebrate family, food, football, and to scope out the best deals for “Black Friday” shopping. But is that the real purpose of the Holiday?

To discover the “historical roots” of Thanksgiving, we would have to go back 300 years to that snowy December day in 1620 when the Pilgrims landed in Plymouth Rock. Stripped of their homes, land, right to make a living and to worship as they pleased; these Founders undertook a dangerous voyage in leaking ships in the hope of a better future.  Sailing delays resulted in a late season arrival. There was no time to build proper shelter before the bitter New England winter took hold.

Ship supplies rapidly ran out. Starvation dogged their steps. There was no warm clothing but what they had made or packed. No security of relatives close by. No supply ship for months. Nothing but hard work in front of them. Half of the people who took the voyage died that first winter.  In spite of all of this, these people chose to be thankful.

The following spring along with some Natives’ help, they received a bountiful harvest to make it through the next winter. These Founders chose to thank God for the provision, for the harvest, for directing a Native “friend” to teach them necessary skills and for training them on how to negotiate with the “neighbors”.

If we read these Founders’ journals and papers, we’ll find that “Thanks Living”– Thankfulness for God’s blessings every day was the true source of their festival that we now celebrate as Thanksgiving.

We are a blessed people and the only Nation on Earth that has set aside a day to celebrate thankfulness for God’s provision. Like the Founders, may we too live a life of “Thanks Living”—of being thankful daily for the blessings and provision sent our way. As we feast on turkey and enjoy friends and family may we be forever thankful for the the freedoms we enjoy because of the Founders’ sacrifice. May we never forget that God is FOUNDER of the Feast.  (James 1:17)

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

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