Our secularizing society is having a difficult time with those holidays that have religious roots. Christmas is now the Holiday Season and, if some get their way, Thanksgiving will be “Friendship Day.”
Wiping clean any memory of providence from Thanksgiving would satisfy citizens who resist vestiges of holiness or godliness in our society. To them, I guess religious influence is like crabgrass in their lawn of life.
Those of us who are religious are going to have an equally difficult time keeping the original spirit of a day like Thanksgiving, but we are going to try.
Thanksgiving is not only a day of being friendly, though it certainly is that. No one wants to be alone on a day when family and friends get together to feast with one another, to rest from work and embrace one another. However, our hearts are made thankful not only by the friends around us but by the seeds of hope which have grown up in us. That hope is a gift from a loving God. We honor and thank Him on Thanksgiving.
Without lifting our hearts and minds to Our Lord, Thanksgiving falls weakly to the ground and stays there breathing silently. Christians, on the other hand, rise from their knees and lift up their hearts in gratitude to Our Lord, even singing praise to Him.
In 1621, Plymouth Planation celebrated harvest time in the wake of a winter season which had taken its toll on the families of the small colony. They found in their harvest feast, a reason to hope for a better future so they bowed their heads to the Father who gives food to all living things. They were grateful.
Those colonists were Christian before they celebrated the first Thanksgiving Day. Seeds of gratitude to a loving Father were already in their hearts. On Thanksgiving Day those seeds had developed into
green fields stretching as far as they could see.