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“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” ~1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18 NIV
That the Pilgrims who came to America considered it right and proper to honor God with a feast of thanksgiving, despite losing nearly half of their numbers to disease and lack of proper shelter during their first year speaks volumes about their character. Many present-day Americans see the holiday as little more than a chance to indulge the vices of sloth and gluttony. But we should not imagine that there was no grumbling among the Pilgrims. Surely some of them grumbled and complained about the conditions and rued the day they left European shores, and it is likely that some of them felt more like cursing God than thanking Him. But the better angels of their nature won the day, and in November of 1621 the Pilgrims celebrated a harvest with the natives, in what was the first Thanksgiving.
We should take this as counsel to give thanks
in all things, both in good times and in bad, in times of plenty and in times of scarcity, and to share our harvest with our families, friends and neighbors, no matter the size of the harvest or our relations with our families, friends and neighbors.