It is almost November! You know what that means? It is almost time to bring in the Christmas Tree from storage or start looking for a fresh tree! Seriously, I will have my tree up in time for Thanksgiving – probably this week. Clay just doesn’t know it yet. Shhhhhh…..
This month while I am giving thanks for my Christmas decorations, I will also be reflecting on what this season of Thanksgiving is about.
Thanksgiving is about so much more than just getting a break from school or time off work. First of all, Thanksgiving is a Christian tradition that dates back to 1621 when the Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians all shared an autumn harvest feast. After all the crops were gathered and the pilgrims assessed their bounty, Governor William Bradford said,
“All ye Pilgrims with your wives and little ones, do gather at the Meeting House, on the hill… there to listen to the pastor, and render Thanksgiving to the Almighty God for all His blessings.”
However, it wasn’t until November 1, 1777 when Congress officially proclaimed the first National Thanksgiving proclamation. Here is what was said:
“…for solemn thanksgiving and praise. That with one heart and one voice the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts, and consecrate themselves to the service of their Divine Benefactor;… and their humble and earnest supplication that it may please God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot them (their manifold sins) out of remembrance… That it may please Him… to take schools and seminaries of education, so necessary for cultivating the principles of true liberty, virtue and piety under His nurturing hand, and to prosper the means of religion for the promotion and enlargement of that kingdom which consisteth of ‘righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost’…”
On January 1, 1795 our very first United States President George Washington wrote one of his most famous speeches. He stated in his National Thanksgiving Proclamation,
“…our duty as a people, with devout reverence and affectionate gratitude, to acknowledge our many and great obligations to Almighty God, and to implore Him to continue is… our duty as a people, with devout reverence and affectionate gratitude, to acknowledge our many and great obligations to Almighty God, and to implore Him to continue and confirm the blessings we experienced…”
Afterwards, Thursday the 9th of February, 1795 was set aside as Thanksgiving. It wasn’t until years later on October 3, 1863 that Abraham Lincoln proclaimed in the middle of the civil war, by act of Congress that the last Thursday of November would be set aside for Thanksgiving. He encouraged Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. Our 16th President of the United states said that it was….
“…announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is the Lord… But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, by the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own… It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people…”
Unfortunately, many households today have lost the original religious significance of this holiday. Although food is normally bountiful, giving thanks to our Heavenly Father has taken a back seat. Thanksgiving Day for many households is becoming the middle, forgotten child between Halloween and Christmas. Many stores will soon be removing the Halloween decorations and making preparations for the Christmas decorations while Thanksgiving decorations are giving a corner. During my childhood, Halloween was the forgotten child as stores rushed to fill their shelves with Thanksgiving decor. Other than the rare gas station, nothing was open during the entire Thanksgiving Day. My how have times changed. People eat their turkey now and taste it later as they rush out the door, belching on the way out, just in time for Black
Friday Thursday sales. Despite corporate America trying their hardest to take Christ out of everything, the actual history of Thanksgiving is set aside specifically and to directly give thanks to our Creator for our Heavenly blessings.
Please join me this month as we reflect on Thanksgiving and Scriptures. Also, I have a new addition to the printables! Now you can print off journaling paper to use!!! Get your FREE printable here. Also, come join our exclusive Facebook group.