Thoughts about the real meaning of Thanksgiving.
[Darris McNeely] Happy Thanksgiving everyone! The Beyond Today crew has scattered too many locations to keep this national day of Thanksgiving. I’m back here in my home, my office, and I wanted to wish all of you a great, happy weekend. In the United States, this holiday, the day of Thanksgiving has become a very special day for all of us to stop have a fine meal with friends and family and to give thanks to God for the blessings that we have.
I wonder how many of us really stop to consider the source of the blessings we have and what’s the real meaning behind this day. It may vary for a number of us. Let me tell you what it means for me.
I always go back to the story of the original Thanksgiving. It begins in 1620 the year when a group of people, who became known as Pilgrims, landed on the east coast of what became the United States - what is now Massachusetts and established a colony. They had come from England they were seeking religious freedom. These people, these men and women wanted to worship God according to their own conscious and that’s why they made this very troubling arduous voyage across the Atlantic at that time and establish a brand new outpost in the new world. Their first winter was very harsh and nearly half of them died from the elements. The following year they gave a festival of thanksgiving and from that has sprung this national day that we honor and observe every fourth Thursday in November as a day of thanksgiving.
But it always has its origins in this one act. This group of people known as the Pilgrims in Massachusetts and the reason they were there was because they sought religious freedom. They wanted to worship God in spirit and in truth as they understood God at that time free of any other organized church or state interference in their conscience and their worship of God.
Religious freedom – that’s what I give thanks for on this day of Thanksgiving. I’m thankful for everything else – my health, my family, the abundance of food - all that we have in this land the United States of America. It means a great deal to us and means a great deal to the rest of the world as well. I don’t forget that. I understand that what we have comes from God and I hope that you remember that as well. It’s not that America is an exceptional nation of and by itself. We are exceptional only because of the blessings that God has given to us – in this great, rich and abundant land.
So when I stop to give thanks. I thank God for all of that. But I also thank God - in the midst of the turkey, the dressing, the football, the family and the friends - I gave Him thanks that I have the freedom in this country - in my time and my life - to worship Him in spirit and in truth. And I remember that there was a time when a group of people sought the same thing under much more difficult circumstances. And I take heart and I take encouragement from the courage that they showed.
And so on this day of Thanksgiving - wherever you may be or whatever circumstance you find yourself - we here on Beyond Today wish you a very happy and joyous Thanksgiving. Above all remember to give God thanks for all that we do have. That’s BT Daily. Join us next time.