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Ask the Pastor 36

Where does Thanksgiving come from?


It is traditionally held that the first Thanksgiving was held by the Puritans in 1621, it was a feast that lasted 3 days and was attended by 90 American Indians and 53 Pilgrims as recorded by those who attended. It was not uncommon for the Puritans to have days of giving thanks and of prayers. President George Washington made it an official holiday in 1789 by request of Congress. The day that it was to be celebrated and if it was to be celebrated was up to the President. President Thomas Jefferson suspended the holiday and it was only celebrated intermitted until President Abraham Lincoln made it an official holiday in 1863, stating as a day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens", to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November. The date of the fourth Thursday of November was signed into law by FDR in 1942. One of things we need to learn here is that the giving of thanks to our God is foundational to this country, its core values and its laws. The Bible teaches that we are to give thanks for all things (Eph. 5:20) and in everything give thanks (I Thess. 5:18). The great song book in the middle of our Bible is filled with songs of thanksgiving such as Psalm 136:1-3. We are not to be anxious for anything but we are to pray with thanksgiving Philippians 4:6. For those who are truly believers, we live everyday giving thanks to our heavenly Father for all things and in all things.


Have questions about the Bible?Send them to Dr. Greg Koehn at gak4850@gmail.com and read the answer here in this article.

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