Because of our elementary school plays we did about the Pilgrims and Indians feasting together after a tough first year for the Plymouth Rockers, we all should know that it was a time to express to God and to their neighbors gratitude for life and its sustenance.
Like the other traditional faith-based holiday celebrations that have been part of our American heritage for all of our history, Thanksgiving has undeniable roots in our country's Judeo-Christian heritage. I can't help but believe that, as best they could, the Pilgrims used that first feast with their pagan friends as an opportunity to tell them about Jesus Christ and why they had left England for the New World in search of religious liberty.
This day always begs the question: "Thanksgiving to whom?" A TV commercial playing today has several celebrities urging us "Give thanks". On Facebook lots of my friends are telling what they're thankful for, which is a good thing. But if we are giving thanks that must mean our gratitude is directed somewhere. Otherwise it really makes no sense.
For Christians, this is an annual opportunity to pause (fortunately for most of us it's still a holiday) and perhaps recount the blessings - whether obvious or cloaked - that our heavenly Father has given us. And then to acknowledge His sovereignty and provision in our lives.
If you're not a Christ-follower, I hope that perhaps you'll pause and ponder that the God who made the universe loves you and wants you to know Him. He has provided everything needed for that to happen in Christ.
There could be nothing greater for which to thank God than for life - not only this life, but for eternal life. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift. (2 Corinthians 9:15)
So as you "give thanks" today, remember that thanks given means thanks received. This is a day, above all else, for worship and praise.