Happy Thanksgiving! Today we celebrate the gifts of friendship and family with a Thanksgiving meal. Take time to honor where it comes from with the Bible.
The first Thanksgiving between Wampanoag Native Americans and Puritan colonists occurred in 1621 and is sparsely recorded, but forms the basis for the modern celebration. The 3-day celebration occurred in Plymouth, present-day Massachusetts, and was prompted by a good harvest. However, it is unknown if turkey was on the menu. History.com writes:
While no records exist of the exact bill of fare, the Pilgrim chronicler Edward Winslow noted in his journal that the colony’s governor, William Bradford, sent four men on a “fowling” mission in preparation for the three-day event. Wild—but not domestic—turkey was indeed plentiful in the region and a common food source for both English settlers and Native Americans. But it is just as likely that the fowling party returned with other birds we know the colonists regularly consumed, such as ducks, geese and swans.
Whatever the menu, the first Thanksgiving did not immediately catch on. It did not become an annual affair until the 1660s and it was not until the American Revolution that George Washington proclaimed the first nationwide thanksgiving celebration on November 26, 1789, “as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God.”
It was during the Civil War that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving date as a federal holiday to be celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November, according to Abraham Lincoln Online.
Celebrate this special day with these inspirational Bible verses for Thanksgiving:
1. “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” — 1 Chronicles 16:34
2. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” — Philippians 4:6
3. “And you will say in that day: ‘Give thanks to the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the peoples, proclaim that his name is exalted. Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously; let this be made known in all the earth.'” — Isaiah 12:4-5
4. “For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.” — 1 Timothy 4:4-5
5. “Enter His gates with thanksgiving, And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him; bless His name.” — Psalm 100:4
6. “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” — 1 Thessalonians 5:18
7. “Don’t be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks. Then the peace of God that exceeds all understanding will keep your hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus.” — Philippians 4:6-7
8. “I will give you a thank offering. I will call on the Lord’s name.” — Psalm 116:17
9. “Thanks, therefore, be unto God for his unspeakable gift.” — 2 Corinthians 9:15
10. “Let the peace of the Messiah also rule in your hearts, to which you were called in one body, and be thankful.” — Colossians 3:15