Have you noticed how the culture of the United States has tried to erase the meaning of the word Thanksgiving from our dictionary? Laurie and I were watching Gonzaga play basketball on ESPN, and they referred to the week of basketball tournaments as “Feast Week.” Feasting on food and feasting on basketball. Pretty much the same thing, I guess. For decades, Thanksgiving has been called Turkey Day. This all makes sense. Who wants to think about the irritating question, “To whom are we giving thanks?”

Retailers for Black Friday, perhaps.

The answer to this annoying question about meaning is not difficult to discern. Abraham Lincoln wrote this in his Thanksgiving Proclamation on October 3, 1863:

“The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature that they cannot fail to penetrate and even soften the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.”

Then,

“It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American people. I do, therefore, invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a Day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.”1

Giving thanks to God is what this day is all about. Giving thanks is everywhere in Scripture but most often in the Book of Psalms; and this is the command used most often:

“Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!” (Psalm 107:1).2

Yes, He is good. Yes. His steadfast love endures forever. He has provided the food that you will be eating. He has provided all the food you have ever eaten. He has provided for us since we were in the womb. And yes, provided your job and all things good—and sometimes painful—in your life. Regardless of what you have endured, His steadfast love endures forever.

Reader and friend, may the Lord bless you as you give thanks to the Lord God Almighty for all He has provided.

Our love to you all.

1http://www.abrahamlincolnonline.org/lincoln/speeches/thanks.htm

2Scripture quotation from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

Gif courtesy Bing images.