In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
The holiday we now call “Thanksgiving” is rooted in the harvest celebration of the Plymouth Pilgrims in 1621. And their harvest celebration had excellent biblical precedent: At least three feasts in Israel included thanks for the blessings of the various harvests. The Feasts of Firstfruits (March-April), Weeks/Pentecost (May-June), and Tabernacles (September-October) all included thanks for various harvests during the agricultural year. George Washington encouraged the celebration of “Thanksgiving” and Abraham Lincoln made it official in 1863: a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”
In the New Testament, we find that Christ changed everything—including the giving of thanks. Since all the ceremonial celebrations of Israel were fulfilled in the Messiah, there are no more official days of thanksgiving. Rather, we are told, “in everything give thanks.” In Christ, we have reason and opportunity to express our thanks to God for all things at all times.
Let this official Thanksgiving Day be a reminder to give thanks in everything—today and every day.
God’s giving deserves our thanks-giving.