“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.”
The event on which our modern American Thanksgiving celebration is based began as a three-day harvest celebration in 1621—sometime between September 21 and November 11, the exact days being unknown. Two years later, in 1623, an actual Thanksgiving Day celebration was held. While the original three-day event was more of a “festival” than a “day” of celebration, it suggests a worthy template: not relegating thanksgiving to a single day of the year.
Indeed, a psalmist in the Old Testament admonished his readers to “Sing to the Lord, bless His name; proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day” (Psalm 96:2, emphasis added). While it is certainly good to set aside a day or days to celebrate God’s goodness, and to give thanks to Him, His blessings are not limited to one day of the year. Gratitude and thanksgiving as a lifestyle are appropriate “from day to day” since that is the pattern of His blessings. As long as God’s blessings continue to flow, so should our thanks flow accordingly.
As you celebrate Thanksgiving today, give thanks to God that His blessings and compassions “are new every morning” (Lamentations 3:23).
“The habit of celebrating the greatness and graciousness of God yields an endless flow of thankfulness, joy, and zeal.”
J. I. Packer