Today is an important day for our country. It is the national holiday of Thanksgiving, characterized by a parade, a huge turkey dinner, football, and a day of sale-fueled insanity to follow.
These days, so many people try to break us away from the distractions and tell us what Thanksgiving is all about. They say it’s spending time with family, thanking the people around us, remembering how fortunate we are, etc. While these sentiments are all true in some respect, they miss the whole truth of why Thanksgiving was established in the first place.
Rather than trying to explain it, why not refer to the words of the man who declared it as a holiday in the first place?
That man was our first president, George Washington, and this is what he said:
WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a DAY OF PUBLIC THANKSGIVING and PRAYER, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:
NOW THEREFORE, I do recommend and assign THURSDAY, the TWENTY-SIXTH DAY of NOVEMBER next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; …
Source: Early America
You should also check out the image of the original document, “Thankfgiving” spelling and all.
So take a minute today to remember where we came from, what has happened before us, and most importantly, to pray and give thanks to God for this country and everything else with which He has blessed us.
After all, that is, in fact, what this holiday is all about.