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Guest Blog from the Missions Team - Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving

First, a little history of Thanksgiving as the holiday we celebrate today.  In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states.  Today it is a national holiday that is celebrated in Canada, the United States, the Caribbean and Liberia.  It is a day of giving thanks for the rewards of the year and the preceding year.         

The holiday was named by Abraham Lincoln and later Franklin Roosevelt signed a bill making Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November.  Many cities commemorate the holiday with parades.  It was mostly to commemorate the start of businesses doing their peak money making, but there is one caveat – the National Dog Show.

But for the Christian, the deepest roots of our thanksgiving go back to the Old World, way back before the Pilgrims, to a story as old as creation.  God created humanity for gratitude. You exist to appreciate God.  He created you to honor him by giving him thanks.  Appreciating both who God is and his actions for us — in creating us and sustaining our lives — is fundamental to proper human life in God’s created world.  As he describes in Romans 1 what’s gone wrong with the world, the apostle Paul gives us this glimpse of the place of appreciation in the created order:

Although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. (Romans 1:21)

Part of what the first man and woman were created to do was honor God by being thankful.  And part of what we exist to do is honor God by being thankful — and thus the numerous biblical commands enjoining gratitude. *

Finally, I leave you with God's word.

Colossians 3:15-17

15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
 

Happy Thanksgiving,

- Joyce Griffin, Missions Team

*Contributed by David Mathis, Executive Editor at desiringGod.org.

To see the full article by David Mathis, published November 22, 2012, go here:  https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/the-true-story-of-thanksgiving

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