CLERGY CORNER: What are you thankful for?

Posted on 17 November 2011 by LeslieM

Here is a little Thanksgiving history for you. Don’t worry there will not be a test. In 1789, following a proclamation issued by President George Washington, America celebrated its first Day of Thanksgiving to God under its new constitution. That same year, the Protestant Episcopal Church, of which President Washington was a member, announced that the first Thursday in November would become its regular day for giving thanks “unless another day is appointed by the civil authorities.” Yet, despite these early national proclamations, official Thanksgiving observances usually occurred only at the state level. Much of the credit, for the adoption of an annual national Thanksgiving Day may be attributed to Mrs. Sarah Joseph Hale, the editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book. For 30 years, she promoted the idea of a national Thanksgiving Day, contacting president after president until President Abraham Lincoln responded in 1863 by setting aside the last Thursday of November as a national Day of Thanksgiving. Over the next 75 years, presidents followed Lincoln’s precedent, annually declaring a national Thanksgiving Day. Then, in 1941, Congress permanently established the fourth Thursday of each November as a national holiday.

 

PSALM 100:4-5

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name.

5 For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.  NLT

 

To be thankful means to be full of gratitude and appreciation. Ephesians 5:20 says, “Give thanks always for all things.” Why are we to always be grateful?  Because God is good and His love, mercy and His Word endures and lives forever. And it also lives in us.

 

PSALM 107:1-2

1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.

2 Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out! Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies.  NLT

 

1 CORINTHIANS 15:57-58

57 But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.  NLT

 

Our life should show that we are thankful and grateful. You must be willing to be grateful because then the things you do will reflect how you really feel and show what is truly in your heart. Thankfulness is an attitude. It is a condition of the heart. What kind of condition is your heart in, not just this Thanksgiving, but year-round?

As we commemorate Thanksgiving this year, I hope you will retain the original gratefulness to God displayed by the Pilgrims and many other founding fathers, and remember that it is to those early and courageous Pilgrims that we owe not only the traditional Thanksgiving holiday, but also the concepts of self-government, the “hard-work” ethic, self-reliant communities and devout religious faith. Along with all the commotion, companionship and cooking, take time to give thanks and praise to God and to the special people in your life.

 

Pastor Tony Guadagnino

Christian Love Fellowship Church

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