Not only is it uniquely American, it is very Christian. Hear me! NOT UNIQUELY Christen but Very Christian.
If we are to believe tradition, the Pilgrims who had landed in New England in December of 1620 celebrated the first Thanksgiving. They had had a great first harvest, and celebrated that harvest in 1621 with a 3 day harvest feast. These people were refugees from political and religious persecution in England. They were members of the English Separatist Church, a sect of the Puritans, they were seeking a place were they could worship according to their understanding of scripture without the threat of death from the authorities looming over their heads.
As children we are taught that this Harvest Festival was the beginning of our US Holiday. Truth is the holiday wasn't established until 1863 by President Lincoln 263 years later. You can read more about this from Wilstar.com.
I am actual wrong in calling Thanksgiving unique to the US, and I repent. Fact is God ordered the Nation of Israel to have a 'Harvest Celebration' every year, it is called Sukkot and they still celebrate it to this day.( Learn more about it here: www.myjewishlearning.com/article/sukkot-101/) It was celebrated this year beginning October 13th and ended October 20th, could you imagine having Thanksgiving everyday for 7 days in a row! The nation would have to have a 14 day fast to undo the damage!
In the Old Covenant, Sukkot was called the Feast of Tabernacles or the Feast of Booths. You can find the commandment for the feast at Leviticus 23:33 through 44. Many Nations and cultures have over the years harvest celebrations, Thanksgiving to their God or Gods, You may learn about some of the here: www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/top-10/harvest-festivals/ .
I believe the Holiday of Thanksgiving here in the US is VERY Christian for many reasons but one of the first is the first sentence of President Lincoln's proclamation of the Holiday:
"The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God."
Later on in his proclamation President Lincoln proclaimed:
"I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens" (From: www.abrahamlincolnonline.org/lincoln/speeches/thanks.htm)
While Lincoln did not specifically mention Yeshua Ha Maschia, (Jesus the Christ in Hebrew), the language in his proclamation was clearly understood in his time to mean the father of the Messiah and is a Christian and Jewish term.
Okay, lets move on to the point of this article which is giving thanks.
I choose the meme I did for this blog because I/we need to develop a sense of Thanksgiving for every day living. It is truly wonderful that our Nation has established one day a year to bless God with honor for our many blessings. And, those who express worship and thanksgiving every Sunday at church are very commendable, but learning to live life in a state of gratitude to our God for our blessings is the beginning of becoming Christ like, and after all, isn't it our goal to become like Jesus?
Humility begins with understanding the great price of the gift that Jesus gave us through His death, burial and resurrection, that gift being admission into His Kingdom the day we believed He is the risen Christ. The expression of that humility is gratitude.
Honesty begins with admission of our sins and the acceptance of His forgiveness. No longer are we considered celestial criminals, doomed to a eternal punishment for our crimes against God and Man. The expression of that realization is Gratitude.
And, the blessings of living for Christ --- that unbelievable sense of Peace, no matter how messed up life might be by our standards. That inexplicable Joy that only comes from living free of guilt and fear when we rely on Jesus's gift to us.
I sometimes wish I could force my fellows to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior, it is such a wonderful way to live and for that I am eternally Grateful, but force is not Jesus's way, we may use force when confronted with no other choice in protecting life and liberty, but it is not appropriate for conversion.
Gratitude can help to overcome our pride and fear by praising and thanking God in advance for His removing these character defects from us.
Gratitude can quickly pull us out of a bad mood.
Gratitude is one of the greatest tools that the Creator of the Universe, Abba our Father and His Christ, Jesus, through the power of his Holy Spirit has given us to lead a happy and fruitful life.
May God continue His Blessings upon you and yours. May you never forget to give Him Thanksgiving, not just on this holiday, or just Sunday but everyday. Amen
I am thank-full to those who have bought my books this year and while I appreciate the money, it is my prayer that you have benefited from the book you bought. It is my heart that my words will help you to find greater fulfillment in you walk with our Savior. If you have not bought one of my books yet you can get them here : Books By Leslie R Auger