Is Thanksgiving Day a Christian Holiday?

first thanksgiving

Turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie including thoughts of the Pilgrims, Indians, corn, harvest, fall colors and leaves turning, feasts and festivals. Is this a day where we come together and eat while watching football or is this a day where we are truly celebrating what the title of this day actually indicates: Giving Thanks. We encourage you to celebrate while thanking God for the blessings he has given us. Don’t just following a tradition set by the Pilgrims and our forefathers. Spend time remembering what this day really means – the kickoff of no a football game, but a season of gratitude and thankfulness to God, who has given us so many blessings. Our feast with family is not the point of Thanksgiving, but rather yet another reason to express thankfulness toward God for his provision!
“I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.” – Abraham Lincoln, 1863
Sadly, many of us forget what Thanksgiving is about. Eating and fun, games and shopping has become to most people the point of the whole affair. People have forgotten why the day was established. Its meaning has slowly deteriorated, and is now almost completely lost under a cloud of media hype, sales pitches, marketing tactics, blitz commercialism, and the looming Black Friday.

While many are familiar with the traditional representation of the original Thanksgiving, (picture above) it is helpful to examine the purpose for which it was first celebrated. By doing this, the day’s meaning will be firmly established that it shouldn’t be just a day but a season of life that challenges us to give back to God and thank him for all he has given us.

Our present circumstances may be like an empty plate. But if we focus on God, rather than our present circumstances, we’ll find that we still have reasons to give thanks to the Lord. His goodness, love & mercy are never changing. November 22, 2017

There are four purposes of Thanksgiving.

First, God created humans for gratitude. We exist to appreciate and bring glory to God. He created us to honor him by giving him thanks. Appreciating both who God is and his actions towards us is huge. He created us and sustains us and he is fundamental in our life and the world that He created.

Second, we need to know as humans that we have all failed miserably in appreciating God. Adam and Eve and Satan ruined that with just a forbidden fruit. Satan wants more power, more glory than God. Ultimately, Satan is an ingrate. And he sinks his venom into the heart of Adam and Eve. Satan’s sin becomes the first sin of all time: the sin of ingratitude. Adam and Eve are, simply and painfully, ungrateful for what God gave and convinced to see more.

Third, God himself sent Jesus, to enter into our thankless world, live in flawless appreciation of his Father, and died on our behalf for our chronic ingratitude.

Ephesians 5:20 “Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Finally, by faith in Jesus we are redeemed from our ingratitude and the eternal penalty of hell, and because of this sacrifice we are free to enjoy the pleasure of being thankful to God for his sacrifice and favor toward us and by his sacrifice we are redeemed. We should be in a continuous posture of gratitude toward our creator.

This year, make sure to take some time in prayer and remembrance, for all God has done both for our material provision and eternal salvation!

1 Thessalonians 5:18  “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”


2 thoughts on “Is Thanksgiving Day a Christian Holiday?

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  1. I feel it depends. I’d argue not necessarily. While the Pilgrims were quite religious, and England traditionally had feast days for religious days, Thanksgiving today is more about giving thanks for about anything you’re thankful for. That could be God, for the religious, or secular things such as family and a fulfilling life. To me, I always celebrate it as a secular holiday as I’m non religious myself.

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