Originally a celebration by religious people giving thanks for a bountiful harvest, Thanksgiving is truly an American holiday. A day of thanksgiving was included in the charter founding Berkeley Hundred in Charles City County, Virginia in 1619. The most portrayed historical American celebration is the Plymouth Plantation in Massachusetts in 1621, which recognizes the Wampanoag Native American’s contribution to the survival of that colony.
This wasn’t the first, though. Harvest celebrations were commonplace in Europe. Mankind has been giving thanks for centuries. Rather than being an excuse to have a couple of days off to visit family, it began as recognition of God’s interaction in their lives.
This year our family will gather at First Daughter’s home, with her son’s family (including four of my absolutely fabulous great-grandchildren) along with Son’s family (including my youngest two grandchildren) and Second Daughter’s family, too (which includes one of my beautiful great-grands and my very pregnant granddaughter – due Thanksgiving day.) We will have too much food, never too much laughter and create memories for lifetimes. So will many others this holiday for giving thanks. I pray their holiday is filled with joy and blessings along with their gratitude.
The Bible tell us to offer thanksgiving, willingly.
And when ye will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving unto the LORD, offer it at your own will. (Leviticus 22:29 KJV)
David practiced this, cleansing before giving thanks.
I will wash mine hands in innocency: so will I compass thine altar, O LORD: That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works. (Psalms 26:6-7 KJV)
Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High: (Psalms 50:14 KJV)
I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving. (Psalms 69:30 KJV)
Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. (Psalms 95:2 KJV)
Today we will say grace before our meal and mention so many of things for which we give thanks. In my heart I will remember this Psalm with it’s depth of meaning.
Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. (Psalms 100:1-5 KJV)
And I will say, within the depth of my soul, with all my mind, from my heart:
Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift. (2 Corinthians 9:15 KJV)