By tradition, we American celebrate Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November. The American tradition goes back to the early 1600’s when the Pilgrims of Plymouth Plantation gave thanks.
I think Thanksgiving is a holiday with special spiritual meaning. It is a time to give thanks for what we have and who were are.
And to whom do we give thanks? The Founding Fathers had a clear understanding of who we should acknowledge as the source of our blessings. The First National Proclamation of Thanksgiving was given by the Continental Congress in 1777:
“FOR AS MUCH as it is the indispensable Duty of all Men to adore the superintending Providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with Gratitude their Obligation to him for Benefits received, and to implore such farther Blessings as they stand in Need of: And it having pleased him in his abundant Mercy, not only to continue to us the innumerable Bounties of his common Providence; but also to smile upon us in the Prosecution of a just and necessary War, for the Defense and Establishment of our unalienable Rights and Liberties; particularly in that he hath been pleased, in so great a Measure, to prosper the Means used for the Support of our Troops, and to crown our Arms with most signal success:”
President George Washington, proclaiming the first Thanksgiving designated by the federal government declared,
“Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor, and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”
Abraham LIncoln proclaimed, “It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”
Today is a day to remember and to put our blessings in the proper perspective. Everything we have and everything we are is the result of blessings from our Heavenly Father. Some people understand that; most don’t.
Today is a special day to give thanks to God and to show our gratitude for the all our blessings.
Some quotes for Thanksgiving and gratitude—
Pride slays thanksgiving, but an humble mind is the soil out of which thanks naturally grow. A proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves. Henry Ward Beecher
Thanksgiving is a time when the world gets to see just how blessed and how workable the Christian system is. The emphasis is not on giving or buying, but on being thankful and expressing that appreciation to God and to one another. John Clayton
As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy
Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts. Henri Frederic Amiel
Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude. Denis Waitley
If you think Independence Day is America’s defining holiday, think again. Thanksgiving deserves that title, hands-down. Tony Snow