“You are my God, and I will give you thanks; you are my God and I will exalt you. Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.” Psalm 118:28-29
It’s almost Thanksgiving, one of my favorite times of the year. A day set aside following a tradition in this country and in England that goes back to the Protestant Reformation and the early settlers of our country. The modern Thanksgiving tradition dates back to 1621 when Pilgrims and Puritans who emigrated from England in the 1600’s carried on the Days of Fasting and Days of Thanksgiving that they celebrated and brought with them to the new country called New England.
Thanksgiving celebrations continued throughout the years by Christians in colonial America and Thanksgiving proclamations were made by many founding fathers, such as John Hancock and George Washington. In 1789, President George Washington proclaimed the first national Thanksgiving celebration in America marking November 26, 1789, “as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God.” Years later, in 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt led Congress to change Thanksgiving Day from the last Thursday to the fourth Thursday in November, where it remains today.
However, Thanksgiving is not an All-American idea. God’s people have been praising His Name and giving Him thanks since creation and throughout history. David, guided by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit is, in many ways, one of the main authors of Thanksgiving. The Psalms are a beautiful prayer book of the Bible and written primarily by David. Most of the prayers are praises and thanksgiving, acknowledging faith and trust in God.
In Psalm 118, the Psalmist declares for those who believe in God, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.” Also, in this Psalm, we see a passage that both Jesus and Peter proclaimed as fulfilled prophecies of Jesus:
“The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:22-24
As Christians, because of what Christ has done, it is marvelous in our eyes and we can rejoice and be glad in it. Also, as Christians, we can gather together on Thanksgiving Day and truly give thanks to the one true and living God through Jesus Christ – for He is good and His love endures forever.
When many people in our country view Thanksgiving Day as just a day off from work, or they give thanks, not knowing what they are really giving thanks for; Christians, by the grace of God, offer thanksgiving to our God, and we rejoice in everything that He has given us – especially our salvation in Jesus Christ our Lord.
May God bless you with His grace, love and truth during the Thanksgiving season and always!