The following proclamation was made by Governor Bradford in 1623: To all ye Pilgrims,
Inasmuch as the great father has given us an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, peas, squashes and garden vegetables, and has made the forests to abound with game and the sea with fish and clams, and inasmuch as he has spared us from pestilence and disease, has granted us freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience; now I, your magistrate, do proclaim that all ye Pilgrims, with your wives and ye little ones, do gather on Thursday, November ye 29th and render thanksgiving to ye Almighty God for all His blessings.
Next Thursday, November ye 22nd, is Thanksgiving. Like those early Pilgrims we will set aside time in our busy schedules to give thanks to God. Setting aside a day is good. The word of God ramps this up by saying thanks giving needs to be a continual, daily, attitude.
- I Thess: 5:16-18 Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances…for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”.
- 5:19,20 “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, ALWAYS giving thanks to God the Father for everything, “
Notice the use of the words; ALWAYS, CONTINUALLY, and IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES. “Giving Thanks” is to be a continual attitude of the heart.
Three attitudes that steal away our gratitude include our pride, a critical spirit, and carelessness. Someone once said that if the stars only came out once a year, we would stay out all night to watch them. But they are there every night and we have grown accustomed to them.
The Israelites grumbled because they had no food so God miraculously sent manna to cover the ground each day. Then they started to grumble because it was the same thing every day. They had a miracle – straight from heaven, every day, but were no longer satisfied. Because of pride, carelessness and a critical spirit we too will never be truly thankful for all that God has given us.
If any nation ought to be thankful to God and grateful for God’s goodness, it ought to be America. If any people in America ought to be thankful to God and grateful for his goodness, it ought to be Christians. What if we, who know the goodness of God, would make sure our social media entries were filled with “giving thanks”? Would it not help make the difference we desire in this land that we live?
An experiment was done in New York’s Central Park where an advertising firm dressed a man up as a blind man and gave him a cup to collect money. One day they put a sign around his neck that read, “I’m Blind.” On that day he collected about $4.00. The next day they dressed him the same way, placed him in the same place but changed the sign to read, “It’s Spring and I’m Blind.” That day he collected nearly $40.00. What was the difference? On the second day, the people “realized” how blessed they were by the beautiful flowers, birds, the sunrise and sunset.
In addition to celebrating one day of “Thanks Giving”, let us count our MANY blessings, name them one by one, so that our impact will be felt worldwide. After all, as our founder John Wesley understood: The world is our parish, so let us continually “give thanks” and experience each and every day – “thanks living”.
By Pastor Jim Carver – Thanksgiving 2018