For centuries, people in many countries have held harvest festivals to celebrate the bounty of the land and the blessings of life. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln established a national holiday in the United States as “a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father.”
Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen thinks that most holidays have been corrupted by commercialism, while Thanksgiving Day has retained its intended purpose. He said, “This is a very rare day. It is wholly and entirely about gratitude.”
No matter what others do, we as followers of Christ have the privilege and responsibility to extend the spirit of thankfulness to every day of the year. Paul urged the Colossians to keep growing in Christ while overflowing with thankfulness (Col. 2:6-7). We are to do everything “in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (3:17).
Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation also declared that all our blessings “are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.”
This is a fitting day to express gratitude to God. And so is tomorrow, and every day that follows.
Worthy is God of our worship,
Worthy is He of our praise,
Magnify Him with thanksgiving,
Gladly our voices we raise. —Anon.
The joy of living comes from a heart of thanksgiving.