The groceries are bought, the turkey has thawed and the house is picked up in anticipation of guests arriving for the holiday feast. If your home is like mine, Thanksgiving is one of the most anticipated days of the year. We will gather around the table, bow our heads in prayer and enjoy a scrumptious meal of turkey and all the trimmings. Afterwards, we’ll walk off some of our dinner, break out some board games or settle in to watch an NFL match-up on the television.
Our bellies are not the only thing full on Thanksgiving Day. Our hearts are full, as well, as we embrace friends and families and give thanks for all God has given us. President Abraham Lincoln is credited with establishing the first annual national day of Thanksgiving in 1863 when he called on all Americans to “set apart and observe the last Thursday of November . . . as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.” Of all the holidays we celebrate each year, Thanksgiving is singularly devoted to counting our blessings.
The date set aside for Thanksgiving has shifted by one week since Lincoln’s pronouncement, but the day remains a favorite holiday for many families.
Somehow, all these years later, Thanksgiving has been spared the commercialism and hype that characterizes so many of our other national observances. As Lincoln said, we continue to gather to observe the holiday “solemnly, reverently and gratefully.” If he could see reason for thanks during the midst of a bloody Civil War, surely we can find reason for gratitude during our own troubled times.
As my family and yours prepares to sit down in fellowship over a holiday feast, I hope you and yours are well and that your Thanksgiving is a bountiful occasion full of love and gratitude – not to mention plenty of good food. Thanksgiving is a day for turkey AND blessings. I pray yours overflows with both.
As always, I appreciate hearing your comments, opinions and concerns. Please feel free to contact me in Jefferson City at 573-751-4302.