Nov 24 2021


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It’s that time of year again. Thanksgiving. A time for turkey, football, family, and friends, and most of all, a time to give thanks.

The story goes that when the pilgrims landed in Plymouth in 1620, they faced a rough winter ahead. In fact, in the first year, they lost 50% of their group due to harsh weather and illness and a lack of food. And one point, the daily ration of food was only five kernels of corn.

A Native American, Tisquantum (given the nickname “Squanto” by Governor Bradford), taught them about hunting, fishing, and farming. And after a year, even though they had lost so many family members and friends, even though it had been a harsh winter, they were able to have a feast day to celebrate and to thank God for all the blessings they did have.

Squanto had brokered a treaty with the local Native Americans that included a mutual protection clause. When the Native Americans heard gunfire, they rushed to see if the Pilgrims needed their help. They were invited to join the feast when they got there, and Chief Massasoit brought along four deer they had just hunted.

That celebration, that time of thanks, began a tradition to set aside time each year to thank God for all our many blessings.

Now, we can talk about how Native Americans have been treated in North America, and we can talk about colonialization. We can talk about a lot of different things on this holiday.

And those are all good and valid things to talk about, yet let’s remember, most of all, to stop and thank God for all the blessings we have: for friends and family, for food and shelter, for the freedom to worship God in a way that we believe honors him.

You see, this is more than just a harvest festival. It’s more than a day to enjoy turkey and football. It’s a day to remember that all we have and all we are comes from God, and it’s a day to stop what we’re doing to reflect on our blessings and to give thanks.

So today, we thank God—for all that he has provided. For food and drink, for health and strength, for family, for good friends, for the communities that we live in, for our church family, and most of all to recognize that God loves us so very much, that he sent his Son, that we may be with Him forever.

When you put it all into perspective, no matter what we’re going through, we all have something for which to be thankful.

So today, I thank God for all those things, for all my blessings, for God and His amazing love, and today, I thank God especially for you.

In his grip,