The Thanksgiving holiday and story is my favorite holiday after Christmas. Specially because a heart that gives thanks to God is heart that is extremely pleasant for God.
Also, one of things I love so much about Thanksgiving is that this holiday is one of the many proofs that America had Christian origins.
A blatantly solid piece of evidence against those who want to say America wasn’t “born” Christian.
What better way to prove that America had Protestant Christian origins than to cite the amazing story of this holiday and celebrate Thanksgiving?
In order to glorify God amazingly on Thanksgiving, I have created a Thanksgiving challenge that consists of 3 action items you can do with your family on this holiday to make the most of it for God.
Read this accurate account of the Thanksgiving story.
First, it’s most important to remember Thanksgiving origin.
In order to find a Thanksgiving account that is both accurate and out of this world, it was necessary to go to academic sources that illustrate it with a historian’s precision.
It all begins with protest in Pilgrims’s hearts, who were Puritans that sought to separate themselves against the unbiblical, dangerous practices of the Church of England, who had many practices that resembled those of the Catholic Church.
In 1620, the Puritans hopped on a ship called the Mayflower, seeking fervently to practice their faith freely and make a better life for themselves and left Plymouth, England.
They arrived 66 days later and many died after their arrival due to illnesses and malnourishment.
They were greeted by a tribe of local Native Americans, who helped them to survive.
History.com states that, “In November 1621, after the Pilgrims’ first corn harvest proved successful, they organized a celebratory feast and invited a group of the fledgling colony’s Native American allies, including the Wampanoag chief Massasoit”.
According to Elizabeth Pleck from the Journal of Social History, what we know as Thanksgiving originated when the Pilgrims held this feast for themselves and their Wampanoag neighbors(the ‘Wampanoags’ were the local tribe of Native Americans).
Prior to Lincoln proclaiming it a annual national holiday on 1863 during the Civil War, three presidents issued ad hoc proclamations of a national day of thanksgiving: George Washington, John Adams and James Madison, Ms. Pleck also states.
However, it was George Washington who first issued a proclamation in 1783. Thus, he was the first to “nationalize” it unofficially.
Before its designation as an annual holiday, it was mainly a state celebration in the Union states (New York was the first to adopt it officially in 1817) while the South remained relatively unfamiliar with Thanksgiving.
In the end, we should give glory to God for this day and that it became a national holiday. It is such an amazing holiday that reminds us not to take things for granted.
2. Binge-read all thanksgiving Bible verses in the Bible.
Now that we’re familiar with an accurate depiction of the Thanksgiving story we can continue to give thanks to God for all his wonderful faithfulness, both to the Pilgrims and to us throughout the year.
I admire the Pilgrims were really doing the will of God by having a thankful heart, since the Word of God encourages us to give thanks always, because God is always faithful in taking care of us.
With that in mind, what better way to create a thankful heart than to engrave the Word of God in our hearts?
You can binge-read this with your family at the table or just by yourself. Just hover your mouse over the Bible verse and you will be able to read it.
(These were all that I could find, if you know one that isn’t here, leave it in the comments! 🙂 )
- 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18
- 1 Corinthians 1:4
- Psalm 100:3-4
- Ephesians 1:16
- 2 Corinthians 9:11
- 2 Corinthians 4:15
- 1 Timothy 4:4-5
- Philippians 1:3-4
- Ephesians 5:4
- Psalm 26:6-7
- Revelation 11:17
- 1 Chronicles 16:8
- Colossians 2:7
- 1 Chronicles 16:34
- 1 Corinthians 15:57
- Psalm 92:1
- Colossians 3:17
- 1 Chronicles 23:30
- Psalm 106:1
- Psalm 107:1-3
And by the way, keep these with you! Since giving thanks is a Godly practice that God wants us to do anywhere, any time of the year.
3. Pick some of the Bible verses above and use them to pray with your family at the table.
For example, you can pick Colossians 3:17, one of my favorites, and customize it to pray for each specific thing to thank the Lord for, and pray: “Lord, just like your Word encourages us to give thanks in everything we do, we thank you in this special day because we were healthy all year, conceived a baby, etc.
Or you can pick a Psalm like Psalm 106:1(like the Puritans who loved to use Psalms to pray and did so in their time) and you can pray it literally.
If you’re looking for more Thanksgiving ideas for a Christ-centered Thanksgiving, go here.
In conclusion, hope you loved this Thanksgiving challenge and that we all stay thankful not only this Thanksgiving, but every day of the year. It is really pleasant for God when we don’t take things for granted and give thanks. Hallelujah!
History.com, Editors. “Thanksgiving 2018.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 27 Oct. 2009, www.history.com/topics/thanksgiving/history-of-thanksgiving.
Pleck, Elizabeth. “Making of the Domestic Occasion: The History of Thanksgiving in the United States.” OUP Academic, Oxford University Press, 1 July 1999, academic.oup.com/jsh/article-abstract/32/4/773/1017813?redirectedFrom=fulltext.
“Plimoth Plantation.” Faith of the Pilgrims | Plimoth Plantation, Plimoth Plantation, www.plimoth.org/what-see-do/17th-century-english-village/faith-pilgrims.