Day of Thanksgiving

Home > Pastor's Blog > Day of Thanksgiving

November is the month of our national Day of Thanksgiving.  Peace Lutheran Church will gather for worship at 10:00 on that Thursday morning.  Have you ever really considered the significance of a Day of Thanksgiving?  Initially, the Pilgrims had a celebration of thanks for a bountiful harvest, after a winter that took the lives of two-thirds of their population.  Our first President, George Washington, called for a day of thanks among his troops in Valley Forge, when God answered his prayers by sending military assistance from France.  Later, in 1789, Washington proclaimed the first national Day of Thanksgiving in gratitude for God establishing our nation.  The observance, however, did not last beyond the administration of the second President, John Adams.  Finally, it was Abraham Lincoln, in 1863, in the midst of our Civil War, who established Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November, the day we still celebrate today.

The observance of Thanksgiving has changed dramatically through the years.  Initially the thanks arose out of adversity; conditions we don’t so much experience today.  Instead of God and Church being prominent in the life of the nation and the lives of people, as in earlier days, the turkey dinner and football games seem to take precedence today.  Furthermore, I think people were much more thankful for the many small blessings in their lives, simply because there were more hardships to endure, and the little things helped in big ways. Today, we tend to take for granted too much of what we have, with the attitude that we deserve it all, and more.

I have always appreciated a national Day of Thanksgiving, and the only time I remember not worshiping the Lord on that day, was when the church tried a service the Wednesday evening before, in hopes of increasing attendance by allowing people to have the entire holiday to themselves.  It didn’t work.  Which raises the issue, if the government, which is secular, is willing to give one day out of the year to observe Thanksgiving, why don’t Christians take advantage of it for that intended purpose? Are we so selfish we would withhold from God our worship and praise?

I believe we truly are thankful to God, not just one day a year, but every day of the year.  Nevertheless, we have developed habits and patterns of behavior that don’t always show God that we truly are thankful to him.  Our God, gracious as He is, will not be taken for granted.  God deserves our thanks and praise.  Peace Lutheran will offer the opportunity to show God how grateful we are for all his blessings when we gather for worship on Thanksgiving Day at 10:00 a.m.  Join us, and bring your family and friends so they can share with you what the day is really all about.

Pastor Kurt Wandrey