Here’s a few short words for you to think about this Thanksgiving.
On November 29, 1623, William Bradford gave the first Thanksgiving Proclamation. At the time he was the governor of the Plymouth Colony. His proclamation was, “Inasmuch as the great Father has given us this year and abundant harvest of corn, wheat, peas, beans, squash, and garden vegetables, and has made the forest to abound with game, and the seas with fish, and clams, and inasmuch as he has protected us from the ravages of the savages, has spared us from pestilence and disease, has granted us freedom to worship God according to our dictates of our own conscience; now I, your magistrate, do proclaim that all ye Pilgrims combined, with your wives and your little ones… render thanksgiving to ye Almighty God for all his blessings.”
Why we give thanks
It’s not about you- It’s all about Jesus! Giving God thanks puts the attention back where it belongs. It takes our focus off of us and puts it back on our Creator. It is a spiritual necessity to give thanks often.
We easily become too selfish. We often create a world that revolves around us. If we’re not careful, we become the God of our own lives. This is a subtle danger that everyone must guard against. Giving thanks is your first line of defense in this battle against selfishness. It’s important to give God thanks every day. That’s why the Thanksgiving holiday is so important in the Christian tradition.
What do you have to give thanks for
Bradford wrote that proclamation three years after arriving in the New World and two years after the first Thanksgiving meal. He mentions that they had a lot for which to thank God. Virtually everyone who can read these words has a lot for which to thank God also.
If you still have breath in your lungs – thank God for your life. If you can read and write – thank God for your intellect. If you have friends or family to celebrate with today – thank God for relationships. If you have food on your table, even if it’s only a bowl of Ramen noodles- thank God for his gifts.
Don’t forget the Giver of good gifts. (James 1:17) Don’t be a turkey this year. Give God thanks.