Does Thanksgiving have a religious context?
While the Thanksgiving holiday is not on the religious calendar, it is a uniquely American holiday that can and should be discussed in the religious context. The Pilgrims celebrated Thanksgiving and included some of the local Native Americans who were already here. They gave thanks to Almighty God for the blessings of their survival, for their food and for success in establishing their community. Thanksgiving began as a community celebration of God’s common grace and blessings upon all the people.
Presidents George Washington, John Adams, James Madison, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt during some of the most difficult times in our nation’s history, asked the people to praise God for the nation and to seek His blessings for the generations to come.
Today we miss the purpose for Thanksgiving, we have exchanged the praises of God for football and food and is it no wonder that America is struggling in so many areas of our culture? Thanksgiving is not about declaring the greatness of America but about celebrating the greatness of God our common Father and Creator, who established this nation and blesses us its citizens in many ways that are often unrealized.
Psalm 106:1 “Praise the LORD. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” NIV
Certainly Thanksgiving ought to be discussed in the religious context, it began within the religious context and I hope that you have a blessed Thanksgiving and that you will take time as an American to praise God and thank Him for this nation. It is not perfect, far from it, but it’s not a bad start and you could do worse in this world.
Psalm 107:8 “Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men,” NIV