Thursday, November 22, 2012


Thanksgiving is a very special time of year for most people. It is a national holiday primarily celebrated in North America and Canada. In North America its origin was based in a religious celebration of blessing which has evolved into a more secular tradition. In the early formation days of North America - some Puritans - the radical reformers of their day - wished to completely eliminate all Church holidays - which had become almost excessive in the English tradition (some 95 Church holidays plus 52 Sundays) - including Christmas and Easter. In place of those holidays they proposed days of fasting and thanksgiving. Obviously that is not what happened. In 1621 a poorly documented day of Thanksgiving was celebrated in present day Massachusetts when pilgrims celebrated a good harvest. Today that day is observed on the fourth Thursday of November - on December 26, 1941 President Franklin D Roosevelt signed a resolution permanently fixing that date. Thanksgivings around the world are typically held in observance of special blessings.  In Canada - Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October. The Canadian holiday is traced back to 1578 and an explorer - Martin Frobisher - in thanks for surviving the long journey from England through the dangers of storms and icebergs. Other countries that celebrate a day of thanksgiving are Germany, Grenada, Korea, Japan, Liberia, The Netherlands and Norfolk Islands. People everywhere pause to celebrate blessings in one form or another.
Most celebrations of thanksgiving were first conducted by the spiritual leaders of the community - then as the idea of thanksgiving grew it was absorbed into the daily lives of all peoples. As people of God - each of us thanks God for the many blessings He gives us daily - especially for the blessings that we fail to recognize in the hustle and rush of daily living. On this special day we make it a point to change our routine - to pause - to reflect - to give thanks in special ways. Thank God that He never tires of blessing us - we should be so mindful to thank Him always!

Deacon Dale