By Byron Day, BCM/D President and pastor of Emmanuel Church, Laurel, Md.
It was a clear and cool night, as I delivered the trash can to the curb I looked up at the beautiful stars and a bright full moon, and reflected on the goodness of God. I drank in all the wonderful things that God had done for me throughout the years. He had been faithful in providing food every day, protection from evil every day and many blessings to boot. But most of all, eternal salvation through His Son Jesus Christ.
According to Today in the Word, July, 1990, the first American Thanksgiving didn’t occur in 1621 when a group of Pilgrims shared a feast with a group of friendly Indians. The first recorded Thanksgiving took place in Virginia more than 11 years earlier, and it wasn’t a feast. The winter of 1610 at Jamestown had reduced a group of 409 settlers to 60. The survivors prayed for help, without knowing when or how it might come. When help arrived, in the form of a ship filled with food and supplies from England, a prayer meeting was held to give thanks to God.
The fall season is a time to reflect on the goodness of God. No wonder the pilgrims decided to have a feast that would give thanks to God for bountifully dealing with them.
The Scriptures are full of admonitions to God’s people to be a grateful people and never forget all that they have come from God. But perhaps Psalm 100:4 captures it best.
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving.
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him.
And bless His name.
An attitude of gratitude is a mark of developing spiritual maturity. Let’s not wait until Thanksgiving Day, but starting right now let us seek to display a thankful attitude. Since God blesses us every day, let us bless His name every day.