Setting Brushfires 11-28-2019: Thanksgiving in America – But Is It Just A Holiday Or A Way Of Life?
Today, in America, many will sit down with family and friends and celebrate the holiday known as Thanksgiving. There’s a long history and tradition in our country for doing this, and rightly so, but is Thanksgiving merely a day each year when we feast and gather with family or is it a way of life as the Builder and Founder of our land taught us? “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever” -Psalm 136:1. Join me in this special Thanksgiving episode at a look and reminder of what Thanksgiving is and to whom we are to give thanks.
Articles and Verses, plus more from today’s episode.
This is Edward Winslow’s firsthand account of the first Thanksgiving at Plymouth Plantation in 1621.
“Our corn [meaning wheat] did prove well, and God be praised, we had a good increase of Indian corn, and our barley indifferent good, but our peas not worth the gathering, for we feared they were too late sown, they came up very well, and blossomed, but the sun parched them in the blossom. Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after have a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors; they four in one day killed as much fowl, as with a little help beside, served the company almost a week, at which time amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest King Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain, and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.”
Here is the other primary account, from Governor William Bradford’s history of the colony, Of Plymouth Plantation:
They began now to gather in the small harvest they had, and to fit up their houses and dwellings against winter, being all well recovered in health and strength and had all things in good plenty. For as some were thus employed in affairs abroad, others were exercised in fishing, about cod and bass and other fish, of which they took good store, of which every family had their portion. All the summer there was no want; and now began to come in store of fowl, as winter approached, of which this place did abound when they came first (but afterward decreased by degrees). And besides waterfowl there was a great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison, etc. Besides they had about a peck a meal a week to a person, or now since harvest, Indian corn to the proportion. Which made many afterwards write so largely of their plenty here to their friends in England, which were not feigned but true reports.
First Proclamation After Plymouth
Governor Bradford of Massachusetts made this first Thanksgiving Proclamation three years after the Pilgrims settled at Plymouth:
“Inasmuch as the great Father has given us this year an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, peas, beans, squashes, and garden vegetables, and has made the forests to abound with game and the sea with fish and clams, and inasmuch as He has protected us from the ravages of the savages, has spared us from pestilence and disease, has granted us freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience.
Now I, your magistrate, do proclaim that all ye Pilgrims, with your wives and ye little ones, do gather at ye meeting house, on ye hill, between the hours of 9 and 12 in the daytime, on Thursday, November 29th, of the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and twenty three and the third year since ye Pilgrims landed on ye Pilgrim Rock, there to listen to ye pastor and render thanksgiving to ye Almighty God for all His blessings.”
Ye Governor of Ye Colony
1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Colossians 3:17 ESV
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Philippians 4:6 ESV
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Psalm 100:1-5 ESV
A Psalm for giving thanks. Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.
Psalm 107:1 ESV
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!
James 1:17 ESV
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
Psalm 150:6 ESV
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!
Ephesians 5:20 ESV
Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Psalm 100:4 ESV
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!
Hebrews 13:15 ESV
Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.
1 Chronicles 16:34 ESV
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!
1 Chronicles 29:13 ESV
And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.
Psalm 92:1 ESV
A Psalm. A Song for the Sabbath. It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
Colossians 3:15 ESV
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
1 Corinthians 1:4 ESV
I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus,
Psalm 69:30 ESV
I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving.
Colossians 4:2 ESV
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.
Psalm 106:1 ESV
Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!
1 Chronicles 16:8 ESV
Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples!
Daniel 6:10 ESV
When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously.
Psalm 136:1-26 ESV
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who alone does great wonders, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who by understanding made the heavens, for his steadfast love endures forever; …
Psalm 95:2 ESV
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
Psalm 28:7 ESV
The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.
1 Thessalonians 1:2 ESV
We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers,
2 Corinthians 4:15 ESV
For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
Music from the Setting Brushfires radio show
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