Thursday, November 22, 2012


We give thanks to you, O God, we give thanks, for your Name is near; men tell of your wonderful deeds” --Psalm 75:1

     Pilgrims, Indians, and turkey. Can you tell what I am thinking of? If you guessed Thanksgiving, then you are right! By mid-October, everyone is thinking, “Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming up! I need to start shopping!” But is shopping, funny hats, trees and all the food you can eat all that this time of year really means to everyone? Well, it shouldn't.  Yes, they can be some of the most fun days of the year, but today we need to understand that the real point of Thanksgiving was not to do all of those things, but to enjoy a day of thanking God for everything that we, and the settlers, were blessed with.
     Everyone knows why the original pilgrims came to America, right? They came in hope of freedom and a better life. Well, not exactly. It goes a little more in depth than that. Originally, people in the Netherlands, Ireland, and Britain were being forced by their governments to believe in one religion: Christianity. That doesn't sound all too bad, does it? Wrong again. They had to believe, while being persecuted, in the tenets of the denomination of Christianity that their governments saw fit: in Britain, Anglican. The Irish were forced by England to practice the Anglican version of Christianity, and on the Netherlands only the Protestant tenets were acknowledged. Now, I don’t know if all of you know, but in this period of time, there was no separation of church and state. Some governments ruled over the church, and some churches ruled over the governments. It doesn't sound so great now, does it? Well, it came to be that the main reason the pilgrims came to America was to escape religious oppression so that they could practice their beliefs without living in constant fear of being tortured or killed. And just as a side note, they did this without their kings, queens, or governors knowing why they truly wanted away from their homelands. Very sneaky people. I think, if any of them had a verse from the Bible running through their minds when they saw the eastern coast, it would be Hebrews 12: 28-29: “Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.”
     I know there might be some people who read this and say that it has nothing to do with them at all. But, in all actuality, all of it has to do with everything we have today. Without the pilgrims coming over, we could still be subjected to what was around during their period of living. Also, there would be no separation of church and state, and most places that have religious freedom as a right would not have that right. Last, but certainly not least, we would have nothing, nor would we be alive, if it were not for God. If God did not exist, we would have nothing, we would be nothing. Thanksgiving is a day that should be spent thanking God for every waking moment we have, and for everything in our lives. Yes, it is amazing to spend it with your family, pile pounds of food down your throat, and watch football with your dad, but you should still thank the One who created everything you are blessed with. I feel this passage is very appropriate to help me drive my point home: “We give thanks to you, O God, we give thanks, for your Name is near; men tell of your wonderful deeds” (Psalm 75:1).
     Thanksgiving Day is a time to reflect and be thankful for all that God has given us. Let us not only be thankful one day a year, but celebrate the greatness of our God with thanks every day!

Psalm 95: 1-7: “Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.”


Image by Leaping Lizard


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