Why celebrate Thanksgiving?

thanksgivingThose of us in the United States will celebrate Thanksgiving in just a few days. Unlike Christmas or Easter, Thanksgiving isn’t a commemoration of a specific Biblical event—but it’s a holiday with an obvious link to the Christian call to give thanks in all things.

We’ve got a number of Thanksgiving resources to share this week, but it makes sense to start with the very basics of the Thanksgiving holiday: when was it started? Why do we celebrate it today?

  • The Christian History Institute explains the history of Thanksgiving. If you thought the idea of a Thanksgiving holiday started with the Pilgrims in New England, you might be surprised to learn that the famous Pilgrims-and-Indians feast was not technically the first Thanksgiving holiday!
  • That covers the historical fact of Thanksgiving—but why do we still celebrate this holiday today, hundreds of years after the events of the first Thanksgiving? Max Frazier’s essay Why Celebrate Thanksgiving? A Study in Psalm 100 explores the importance of gratitude, and the value of the Thanksgiving holiday.
  • So even as you plan out your Thanksgiving get-togethers and short vacation from work, take a few moments to read up on the “when” and “why” of Thanksgiving.

    [image by Ben Franske under a Creative Commons license]

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