Researching Thanksgiving in the United States is interesting.
According to some sources, Thanksgiving rose from an English reformation tradition during the reign of Henry VIII. Henry was dissatisfied with the women he married because they couldn’t produce a male heir for him, so he broke with the Catholic church and formed his own body, the Church of England. They refer to the invention of Anglicanism, “the English reformation.”
Catholicism has several feast days and the English “reformers” wanted to have a similar number, so the English began observing Thanksgiving.
In the United States, the observance of Thanksgiving is usually traced to a poorly documented 1621 celebration in Plymouth, Massachusetts. According to tradition, the celebration was tied to a good harvest. The popular concept of this celebration is that the Indians had a part, but there is little evidence to indicate this.
On December 26, 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt signed a joint resolution of Congress changing the national day of Thanksgiving to the fourth Thursday in November. Sources say the president believed the observance would give the nation a much-needed economic boost.
For faithful Christians, Thanksgiving is every day of the week and especially on Sunday. The giving of thanks is primarily what worship is all about. In worship, we glorify God for all of his mighty works. What’s that? You say you haven’t seen any “wonderful works?” Let’s find out.
Just last week, many of us survived a pretty scary storm. More than 80 tornadoes touched down in an area that stretched from Michigan to Kentucky. The straight-line winds blew very hard here in Mid-Michigan. Things could have been much worse, but by the grace of God we all survived.
When most of us sit down to our Thanksgiving meal, we will have at our beck-and-call some of the best food anyone could ever desire. Turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie and other delectable will fill our tables.
We will eat that wonderful meal in a nation that provides us peace and defends us from outside interference and aggression. When I think of some of our brothers and sisters in Christ in Russia who have little or nothing, I am especially thankful for everything I’ve been given.
Most of us will be able to enjoy our Thanksgiving meal in good health. We are alive, and for the most part, well. Things could be different, couldn’t they?
Then, there is the blessed grace of Almighty God. We deserve to die for our sins, but God is merciful to us and has given us life, breath and all things (Acts 17:25).
I can continue. I’m sure you can add many more parts of the wonderful works of God that he has given to us all this year and in years past. We must all admit we have seen the mighty works of God.
This is why we should give thanks and worship our great Creator!