Thanksgiving Day falls on Thursday, November 28 this year. People have been celebrating Thanksgiving on the 4th Thursday in November since 1863, long before Congress made it a national holiday in 1941. It is a day of family gatherings, sumptuous feasts, football, and, hopefully, remembering the many blessings for which we can be thankful.
Martin Luther saw things differently; he didn’t thank God on a certain day every year. Instead, more than 300 years before Americans began setting aside a day for giving thanks, Luther did what I Thessalonians 5 tells us, which is to be thankful all the time, every day, in every situation. He expounded on the first article of the Apostle’s Creed saying that, since everything we have is given and sustained by God, we are duty bound to love, praise, and thank him without ceasing. He doesn’t need anything from us. There is nothing we can give him that we haven’t received from him except that we can offer our praise, thanks and honor. Luther was concerned about our being ungrateful and forgetting the blessings God lavishes upon us.
There are numerous examples in both the Old and New Testaments of giving thanks and many of them are of Jesus himself thanking God for food or the people God had entrusted to his care or for hearing his prayer. Why not search all the words in the Bible that are related to the words “thank” and “praise”. You will be busy for quite a while. Here are a few to get you started: I Chronicles 16:34, Psalms 95 and 100, Matthew 11:25 and 15:36, Luke 1:46 and 10:21, John 11:41, Philippians 4:16, Colossians 3:17…
For further reading:
https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2016/10/the-priesthood-of-all-believers from which this quote was taken:
The priesthood of all believers is a call to ministry and service; it is a barometer of the quality of the life of God’s people in the body of Christ and of the coherence of our witness in the world, the world for which Christ died. ~ Timothy George