The Spirit of Thanksgiving
Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. 1 Chronicles 16:8
Last week America celebrated Thanksgiving Day. In the United States it is an annual day of thanks for the blessings of the past year. It is a historical, national, and religious holiday that began with the Pilgrims. After the survival of their first colony through the bitter winter, and the gathering of the harvest, Gov. William Bradford of Plymouth Colony issued a thanksgiving proclamation in the autumn of 1621. This first thanksgiving lasted three days, during which the Pilgrims feasted on wild turkey and venison with their Indian guests. Days of thanksgiving were celebrated sporadically until, on November 26, 1789, President Washington issued a proclamation of a nation-wide day of thanksgiving. He made it clear that the day should be one of prayer and giving thanks to God. It was to be celebrated by all religious denominations, a circumstance that helped to promote a spirit of common heritage.