*** Blogger’s Note: I’ve been posting to Joyously Saved nearly every day since February, and it’s been a blessing. Yet now at the end of November, I’ve decided to begin posting only on Sundays. When I started out I had two particular goals in mind: To bring attention to the little-known French Huguenot massacres of 1565, and to remember other martyrs of the Reformation era such as those who died during the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre. I have covered these subjects heavily in my blog and I feel it’s time to spread out my posts. ***
Most Americans don’t think of Thanksgiving as a religious holiday. It’s a time to see family, engorge ourselves on foods we dream about for the rest of the year, and possibly attend one or more school plays or other functions where children merrily dress up like Pilgrims and Indians. Yet, for American Protestant Christians, whose history was further written in stone with the arrival of the Puritans in 1620, the holiday means much more.
Although there were earlier New World settlements such as that of the French Huguenots at Fort Caroline, Florida, they did not last. The Puritan colony grew and thrived. Free from worries over rival settlements, they set up a lasting foundation for Protestant Christianity and for faith in general that guided our country for many years.
So why is Thanksgiving not considered a religious holiday? We know to Whom the Pilgrims were giving thanks . . . they fell down in awe of God and His mercy, gratefully praising Him for allowing them to reach America and to settle a territory they earnestly believed would be a “City on a Hill,” a place of religious courage, fortitude, and purity.
Families still ask children what they are thankful for. Friends, family, a place to live, food, and personal belongings are high on the list. But on this Thanksgiving, I want to relate a long-ago story that popped up from my memory banks. My cousin, who was about four at the time, was asked what she was thankful for. Others had answered “food,” “friends,” “toys,” all the usual. But that little girl smiled and said into the camera, “I’m thankful for God.”
Let us all be thankful for God and for His divine Providence now and always. Happy Thanksgiving!
(c) 2012 Joyously Saved