The “First Thanksgiving” was celebrated in 1621 after the first harvest in the new world, with colonists and Native Americans in attendance. Pilgrims regularly celebrated days of prayer, or “thanksgivings”, to thank God for their blessings.
Thanksgiving was not a national holiday until President Lincoln made it official 200 years later. It was October 3, 1863 and our President wanted us to celebrate, as a nation and as individuals, all that we had to be thankful for, even in the midst of a civil war. President Lincoln called on the nation to pray for those that suffered loss and to “fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation … and to restore it … to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.”
As we draw around the Thanksgiving dinner table with family and friends, let us remember those that have suffered loss, pray for God to heal and restore many and spend our time truly appreciating the many blessings we have as a nation, and as individuals.
May your time of reflection and celebration be filled with joy, peace and love.