Arguably the best holiday in the United States. It's a time for family, food, football, fun and....giving thanks for some. There are so few people in the U.S. now who look at Christian religious holidays as 'Christian'. Christmas is for presents. Easter is for egg hunts. Thanksgiving is for eating. That's what it is for most people. Now, Easter is something a little different. I have known several families that never darken a door to a church except on Easter. The parents and the little kiddies show up dressed in their finery and sit on the pew as if they have always been there; never to be seen again until next Easter. After church, they go back home and pig out.
The traditional version of Thanksgiving and how it got started here in America is up for heated debate. It is believed the first religious service for Thanksgiving in the Americas was performed by Spanish explorers in Texas at San Elizario, 1598. Others believe it was on September 8, 1565 in San Augustine, Florida. In 1619, a day for Thanksgiving services was put in the founding charter of Berkeley Hundred in Charles City County, Virginia. It is believed by historians that should know, the true origin was the New England Calvinist Thanksgiving. It was never a part of a sabbath day. I say...who cares who started it first?
For those who don't believe in God or have no time for God or who hate / dislike God, it is a day for not working and hanging out doing whatever it is they do. I hope they have fun. I hope they do whatever makes them happy. For those who do believe in God and have time for him and who love him or even just like him, I hope for you it is a day of reflection, prayer, repentance, and of course, thanks.
We live in the greatest country the world has ever known. How long it will remain that way is anybody's guess. Some, erroneously, believe it will always be the way it is...never to change and never to go down in flames. I find that strange as every great nation throughout history has fallen at one time or another. Few have ever risen again to the glory they once knew...if ever. In fact, I can't think of one.
So, let us be thankful for the the life we have had and the life we will have. Rough times are in store for some before the next Thanksgiving comes around. Some will not see another one. For others, they will have a good year and the good fortune to see the next Thanksgiving. Maybe they will be more thoughtful. Maybe they will be more cynical. Perhaps they will truly reflect on where they have been, and where they are going and that they might just need a little providential help in getting there. Now, that would be progress by any measure.