The very first thanksgiving celebration in America took place in 1621 as the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast in Plymouth, MA. This feast was to thank God for His provision over the previous year. Through the years, the memory of that first feast slowly transformed into the celebration we now hold each year in America known as Thanksgiving. Although we, as a nation, have allowed the true meaning of the first celebration to erode - the thanking God part - we still use the day to gather together as families around the traditional feast.
This year, let’s get back to the basics as the body of Christ. Regardless of whether or not all in your family understand the real reason behind the celebration, you can still direct thee focus of all who gather with simple little redirection.
As you gather, ask for the opportunity to bless the meal and in that prayer thank God for His bounty.
As you gather, ask for a short time of expressing thanks. Simply suggest your family go around the room and each person simply express one thing they are thankful for.
If the first two suggestions are out of the question, consider going to individuals and expressing gratitude for them in some personal way.
Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit this Thanksgiving and have as your attitude a grateful heart. Express that grateful heart at every opportunity. Your positive thankful heart will affect those around you and will be used of God mightily…because His Word does not return without accomplishing that for which it was sent forth. Read the following excerpts from the Word of God and you’ll see what I mean!
…in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 NASB
…let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.
Hebrews 13:15 NASB
Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.
Hebrews 12:28-29 NASB
…having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.
Colossians 2:7 NASB
And let us remember this one last passage as we prepare to partake of the feast this Thanksgiving: If we who have been redeemed do not express gratitude for that redemption by ‘saying so’, how will those in the same bondage ever know there is hope? See the power of giving thanks? Walk in that power in attitude and in the expression of that thanks during the coming days.
Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Let the redeemed of the LORD say so,
Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary…
Psalm 107:1-2 NASB