The First Thanksgiving


Happy Thanksgiving! They started saying that in these parts back in 1621, with the first Thanksgiving celebration at Plymouth in modern-day Massachusetts. They had quite a feast that day, bringing the Pilgrims and Puritans together. The 1619 arrival of 38 English settlers at Berkeley Hundred in Charles City County, Virginia, precipitated the Plymouth event. The group’s charter from the London Company required “that the day of our ships’ arrival at the place assigned, in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God.”

The day of national thanksgiving was later sealed by the U.S. Congress as set apart on the fourth Thursday of November each year. The original word for “Thanksgiving” actually means the malls open at midnight for Christmas sales.

Perhaps you are celebrating Thanksgiving today with turkey and dressing. Maybe family is involved. If you are a true American, football will be on TV for at least 23 hours today.

Why do we celebrate Thanksgiving? I suggest the reason is far greater than because it is a national holiday. We offer thanks because we have much for which to be thankful. The Apostle Paul said it best – “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Start today. Start right now. Pause and give Him thanks.


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