Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Whatever Happened To Thanksgiving?

Our community has just experienced the second greatest retail marketing event of the year – Halloween. A recent survey showed American’s participation of Halloween went up from 59% last year to a whopping 65% in 2008. The total revenue that was brought in from sales related to Halloween was over 5.77 billion dollars! Yet, before Halloween was over, stores were already gearing up for the no.1 retail marketing event of the year – Christmas. But didn’t we leave something out? What was it that we missed?

Thanksgiving. Yes, it may sound strange, but it is true – there really isn’t a real market for Thanksgiving. But don’t we have the day off – it’s a holiday – right? And we have the some 45 million turkeys that the industry is making ready for our tables. And, of course, there are the football games – what more could you ask for?

I believe some reflection on the history of Thanksgiving would provide us some needed insight into why America is bypassing Thanksgiving. In 1621, the Pilgrims celebrated a three day Thanksgiving festival with the local Indian tribes. Why? They had survived losing half of their population the first winter, had learned how to fish and farm from the Indians, and had finally raised enough crops in the third year to have a Thanksgiving celebration. Death, starvation, and hard times are always good reasons to be thankful for a merciful God Who providentially takes care of you.

In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed into Law that the third Thursday in the month of November would be set aside for a Thanksgiving holiday. When? 1863 – right in the middle of the hardest war Americans have ever fought – The Civil War! War is another good reason why we should pause and give thanks to a merciful God for His many kindnesses to us.

When you add all these reasons up, you’ll find that America is experiencing all the same symptoms for Thanksgiving. Then, why is it that we are forgetting to celebrate Thanksgiving the way our forefathers did? I believe the answer is simple: as a Country, we do not have a humble spirit and a grateful heart to God for His many mercies. We have forgotten God. We got rid of Him in the classroom, we don’t talk about Him in the marketplace, and His gospel message is seldom preached in pulpits across our Land. Our Country used to be known as “the free and the brave,” because Americans spoke of “God and Country” without hesitation or embarrassment. It is different today. If you believe the liberal media, the average American doesn’t talk about God in a personal way, and he is also embarrassed to be an American.

Fellow Americans, we need to get back to God. We need preachers who will boldly preach the gospel; namely, that God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the Cross for sinners. And, as sinners, we need to repent of our sins and seek God’s forgiveness. Only as we return as individuals to Christ, will we, as a Nation, get our Country back where it needs to be – thankful to God, for His many mercies to us all.

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