Thankful for Thanksgiving
There is absolutely no holiday more explicitly Christian than Thanksgiving. Nowhere in Scripture are we called to celebrate Christmas or Easter, but everywhere are we commanded to fellowship over the dinner table with a heart of thankfulness. After all, living a life of prayer and thanksgiving is God’s ultimate will for our lives (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Setting aside a single day for explicitly the purpose of gratitude for the blessings in our lives, to do it as a family… that’s pretty wonderful. That certainly should not be the only time we engage in thankfulness, but nevertheless it gives us a rare opportunity to do it as a community.
When you add to that the story of the first Thanksgiving, I don’t think it gets much better. Here’s the story in a nutshell:
The pilgrims (made up predominantly of Puritan separatists) leave England to establish a colony where they are free to worship God without the trappings of the state church. They arrive to find freshly cleared land prepped and ready to farm, and they are greeted by a Native American that speaks perfect English. He himself is a devout Christian committed to Puritan ideals. Because of his ability to speak the Native tongue and English, the pilgrims are able to establish long and peaceful coexistence for decades.
The English speaking Native American is named Tisquantum (more commonly known as Squanto). He was kidnapped by Englishmen decades earlier and sold as a slave in England. He was bought by an anti-slavery Christian family that educated Him and taught him the Bible before allowing Squanto to return home. Squanto returned home to find his nation being ravaged by a strange plague. About this time… the pilgrims arrive. That’s why they find a relatively empty land that was just prepped and waiting for them.
It is an absolutely amazing example of God’s providence.
Of all the things to be thankful for, His sovereignty is no doubt supreme. We can be thankful and rest in all things because we serve all powerful and all good God.