A Tradition of Thanks

Do you remember learning about the Pilgrims and Thanksgiving in elementary school? Most of us carry fond memories of Thanksgiving reunions. But as a society we seem to have lost a sense of the holiday's meaning. By and large, we cannot relate personally to an agricultural harvest. Thanksgiving Day itself is sandwiched tightly between an ever–expanding Christmas shopping season and the growing marketing blitz that surrounds Halloween. Sporting events tend to replace meaningful moments of actual "giving thanks."

Thanksgiving may be the only holiday we have that possesses less and less appeal. Ironically, with the exception of the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving is the most peculiarly American holiday that we recognize. The celebration of it fits perfectly into the story of American history. To be thankful to God for the abundance of this great land was a natural duty for our forefathers. The ensuing institutionalization of it made perfect sense. We briefly consider some of the background and speeches that have surrounded this most appropriate holiday. And let us give thanks to a gracious Creator!

—Leadership University Editor/Webmaster, Byron Barlowe

Feature Articles and Resources:

Thanksgiving Quiz
Kerby Anderson
This nation was founded by Christians, and Thanksgiving is a time when we can reflect upon this rich, Christian heritage. But many of us are often ignorant of our country's origins. This Thanksgiving quiz tests your knowledge about this nation's biblical foundations.

George Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1789
This historic proclamation was issued by George Washington during his first year as President. It sets aside Thursday, November 26 as "A Day of Publick Thanksgiving and Prayer."

Washington's Original Thanksgiving Proclamation
An actual copy of The Massachusetts Centinel, Wednesday, October 14, 1789 containing the proclamation issued by George Washington setting aside Thursday, November 26 as "A Day of Publick Thanksgiving and Prayer."

One Nation Under God
Benjamin Hart
The Continental Congress of the original 13 colonies of what would become the United States of America was established to resist the unfair tax practices and tyrannical laws and policies imposed on the colonies by Great Britain. "One Nation Under God" contains powerful and compelling statements by America's Founding Fathers, American Presidents, great American statesmen, in addition to Supreme Court rulings and proclamations—including one for Thanksgiving observance—by Congress on the all–important role of the Christian faith in building the United States of America.

A Theology of the Grace of God
John H. Stoll
In order for us to properly develop according to God's word, we must begin with the "bottom line" of, who God is and His relationship with us. Therefore, a need to understand a theology of God's grace.

Jerry Solomon
As is true with many terms used among Christians, the word "worship" can become a cliché devoid of significant content if we don't stop to consider its meaning.

Praise: Releasing Faith
Oliver W. Price, Bible Prayer Fellowship
From the Bible study, Praying with Christ Obviously Present and Actively in Charge, Leaders Guide, Session 11 "Praise: Releasing Faith." Includes the Three Basic Elements of "Thankful Praise" and helpful discussion points. Linked to the full study, both leader's guide and student portions.

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