Thanksgiving A Holy Holiday

As Thanksgiving draws near and family and traditions grow further apart, the true meaning and purpose of Thanksgiving becomes foggy and even forgotten. Amongst the clutter, and bustle of the "holiday season," it gets lost. Like an old box of ornaments in the attic, it sits gathering dust, waiting, hoping to be opened. To be remembered. But when it finally is opened its met with indifference and even disdain.

It's just a day off. Just a day created by a bunch thieves and murderers. Turkey day! A time to sit back and watch football. The beginning of the Christmas rush- Black Friday shopping. Strip that all away- peel it back like layers of old wallpaper in a house. Pull back the layers of commercialization, the family commitments, the hurry, tear away the calendar date. Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Devotional

The purpose of Thanksgiving wasn't to feast or party. It wasn't about the shopping or the football. It was about thanking God for keeping the pilgrims alive during a long voyage across the ocean to an unknown land in search of freedom to worship how they pleased, it was to thank Him for sustaining them through persecution, diseases, crop failures and blizzards. It was to thank God for sending them someone to teach them how to survive in this new world that they sought refuge in.

It was was three days of praying and giving thanks. Of being with family and friends and thanking God for them. Three days of praise and worship, that was attended by 90 Native Americans and 53 Pilgrims.

How has He sustained you? How has he brought strangers into your life to teach you on your journey? Where are the places he's carried you through failures and diseases? Find the places in your life where His arms have encircled you and seen you safely through. What are you thankful for- don't answer that quickly, don't whip out a pat answer and move on. Dwell on it, what is close to your heart? Don't just say I'm thankful next to a 2-second answer, what are you really thankful for? Who are you thankful for. Now take a moment to celebrate this holiday the way it was intended. Pour out your heart to your Father.

We live in a culture that has forgotten how to be thankful, in the rush to have the newest and biggest 'whatever' we have lost the art of simply being thankful. Let's change that, you and me, starting in our own homes. Let's learn to be thankful again, and to come before our Lord with praise as we thank Him for the many blessings He's bestowed on our lives.

Do you know the real story of Thanksgiving? Do your kids? Do your grandkids? This year make sure they know the true story. Spend some time with them, more than just a family dinner on Thanksgiving night. Whether it's listening to an audiobook or a radio drama while doing holiday baking. Or curling up together on the couch next to the fire watching a movie or read a book together. Or gather around a table playing a game. The time will be well spent. When they are old and have children and grandchildren of their own, it won't be the football game they watched or the amount of pie they ate that they will remember, but the time spent with you. So make some traditions, it's not too late. You will be glad you did.

Here are a few of our favorite adventures, some that I grew up with and others that I enjoy now.

Movies:

This Is America Charlie Brown - The Mayflower Voyagers
the Peanuts gang tells the story of the Mayflower voyage from England to the new world, in 1620. They detail the hardships the pilgrims faced while trying to adapt to their new land, and how it was the help of the Natives Samoset, Squanto and the Wampanoag Chief Massasoit that helped them survive. The special ends the next fall when the pilgrims share their bountiful harvest with the Natives in a feast of Thanksgiving.

Animated Hero Classic Series: William Bradford
The story William Bradford, Squanto, faith during trial

Dear America: A Journey to the New World
The story of a twelve-year-old Pilgrim girl's first few months at Plymouth Colony.

An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving
The widow Mary Bassett and her 3 children have come on difficult times, which becomes especially apparent when they can't even afford a turkey for their Thanksgiving dinner. The widows oldest daughter writes to their wealthy and estranged grandmother for help.

Radio Dramas:

A Thankstaking Story
On a snowy Thanksgiving Day, Whit, Connie, Eugene and a few of their friends end up stuck at Whit's End. To pass the time, they tell a zany story of the Scrunch and his plan for "Thankstaking."

A Thanksgiving Carol
Whit and the gang use Kids' Radio to tell Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol with an unusual twist.

Thank You, God
At Thanksgiving dinner, Whit tells the story of how his stepmother changed his life.

The Legend of Squanto
This audio drama brings to light the story of one of America's early legends — "Squanto." History remembers Tisquantum as the Native American who taught early settlers to fish and farm. He's even credited with the first Thanksgiving. But few hear the story of the condemnation that dragged him outside America to a life in chains and what he discovered after his exile. It's an inspiring true story of this little-known early American that triumphed over injustice and changed what would become the United States.

Books:

Thanksgiving: Time to Remember
By Barbara Rainey

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3 comments:

  1. I love this. It's so true that this generation and culture in general has forgotten what it is to be genuinely thankful. We've gotten so mixed up in comparison and being selfish. God forgive us all! Being thankful is for more than one day a year, but daily.

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  2. Really enjoyed this! Thank you for doing such a nice job

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