Unless you live on a deserted island in the middle of no where, you know that today is Thanksgiving Day. A national holiday set aside to give thanks for all of the blessings given to us this past year, and even previous years. But who do we, as a nation of many different nationalities, different religions, different beliefs, give thanks to? As Christians, we acknowledge that the only true God is the one who gives all things. As the Doxology, which many of us sing every Sunday, says, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow,” (emphasis mine), we know that everything on this earth is created by Him and belongs to Him.
In researching for this blog, I found that most American Jews do celebrate Thanksgiving. But they give thanks every day. Every single day the first thing the Jewish people say upon awakening are “I give thanks before you, eternal King, for having restored to me my soul.” Every single day there are one hundred blessings they recite, one hundred times to say thank you. One hundred times they emphasize not what they are missing but are grateful for what they have. Imagine…what if we adopted their “thankfulness policy?” How different would our lives be if we made a point to give thanks and praise to God 100 times a day–every day? Selah.
There is great debate among Muslims as to whether or not American Muslims are allowed to celebrate Thanksgiving. The saying, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do,” is most applicable here. American Muslims observe Thanksgiving Day as a time to get together with friends and family, share a meal and have fun. There are a number of restrictions to their celebration , foremost being they must acknowledge and give thanks to their god, Allah.
Wherever you are and however you celebrate, my prayer for you is that you will be with friends and family, that you will enjoy a delicious meal of your family’s traditions, whether it’s turkey and all the trimmings, or an Italian feast, and that you will, indeed, give thanks!
How do you celebrate Thanksgiving? Does your family have traditions surrounding the holiday? Feel free to share below!