Weekly Encouragement 11-25-19 Observance of Thanksgiving
According to Wikipedia, Thanksgiving Day is a harvest festival. Traditionally, it is a time to give thanks for the harvest and express gratitude in general. It is a holiday celebrated primarily in Canada and the United States. While perhaps religious in origin, Thanks-giving is now mainly identified as a secular holiday.
The date and location of the first Thanksgiving celebration is a topic of modest contention. Though the earliest attested Thanks-giving celebration was on September 8th, 1565 in what is now Saint Augustine, Florida, the traditional “first Thanksgiving” is venerated as having occurred in 1621 at the site of Plymouth Plantation, located at what today is known as Cape Cod, Massachusetts. (Massachusetts was one of the original thirteen colonies). This Thanksgiving celebration became an important part of the American experience by the 1800s. (End of Transcription).
Today, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October in Canada and on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States. Thanksgiving dinner is held on this day, usually as a gathering of family members and friends.
The tradition of Thanksgiving, long ago observed by the Pilgrims, has many connotations. Some people celebrate this day because it is just another celebrated holiday giving little thought to its meaning. Others observe it because they are truly thankful for one thing or another and feel that it is only right to publicly demonstrate their thankfulness by a day of remembrance and celebration. It seems, though, that each year fewer and fewer people are thankful. Many today believe they deserve the good things of life, whatever they may be. If said things are deserved, there can be no true thankfulness. This lack of appreciation should never be characteristic of a Christian. May each such one, who reads this work, pause and consider that it is God who blesses the world with all that is needed to continue. These blessings fall on those who worship Him and those who oppose Him. Jesus, for instance, said, “God the Father causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust” (Matthew 5:45). It is God who keeps the earth, and all other celestial bodies in their orbit. It is God who holds the temperatures of earth constant (no matter what the so-called global warming proponents claim) in order to sustain all that is living. In our celebration, this year, let us Christians be genuinely thankful for our Creator and sustainer.
Reading the words of King David’s song of praise, sang many years ago, may help us in our appreciation of God’s goodness to us and cause us to be rightfully thankful. Consider Psalm 104.
“1 Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, You are very great: You are clothed with honor and majesty, 2 Who cover Yourself with light as with a garment, Who stretch out the heavens like a curtain. 3 He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters, Who makes the clouds His chariot, Who walks on the wings of the wind, 4 Who makes His angels spirits, His ministers a flame of fire. 5 You who laid the foundations of the earth, So that it should not be moved forever, 6 You covered it with the deep as with a garment; The waters stood above the mountains. 7 At Your rebuke they fled; At the voice of Your thunder they hastened away. 8 They went up over the mountains; They went down into the valleys, To the place which You founded for them. 9 You have set a boundary that they may not pass over, That they may not return to cover the earth.
10 He sends the springs into the valleys, They flow among the hills. 11 They give drink to every beast of the field; The wild donkeys quench their thirst. 12 By them the birds of the heavens have their home; They sing among the branches. 13 He waters the hills from His upper chambers; The earth is satisfied with the fruit of Your works. 14 He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, And vegetation for the service of man, That he may bring forth food from the earth, 15 And wine that makes glad the heart of man, Oil to make his face shine, And bread which strengthens man’s heart. 16 The trees of the Lord are full of sap, The cedars of Lebanon which He planted, 17 Where the birds make their nests; The stork has her home in the fir trees. 18 The high hills are for the wild goats; The cliffs are a refuge for the rock badgers.
19 He appointed the moon for seasons; The sun knows its going down. 20 You make darkness, and it is night, In which all the beasts of the forest creep about. 21 The young lions roar after their prey, And seek their food from God. 22 When the sun rises, they gather together And lie down in their dens. 23 Man goes out to his work And to his labor until the evening. 24 O Lord, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all. The earth is full of Your possessions—
25 This great and wide sea, In which are innumerable teeming things, Living things both small and great. 26 There the ships sail about; There is that Leviathan Which You have made to play there. 27 These all wait for You, That You may give them their food in due season. 28 What You give them they gather in; You open Your hand, they are filled with good. 29 You hide Your face, they are troubled; You take away their breath, they die and return to their dust. 30 You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; And You renew the face of the earth. 31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever; May the Lord rejoice in His works. 32 He looks on the earth, and it trembles; He touches the hills, and they smoke. 33 I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. 34 May my meditation be sweet to Him; I will be glad in the Lord. 35 May sinners be consumed from the earth, And the wicked be no more. Bless the Lord, O my soul! Praise the Lord!”.
Let the world of fallen men celebrate Thanksgiving as they will, but shouldn’t we identify with David this Thanksgiving, and sing forth praise to God for His faithfulness?
Transforming power; The Work of God on Behalf of Man