Thanksgiving is an attitude of the mind and heart-to give thanks to God for who we are, and what God has given us. It acknowledges that everything we have is from God, including the gift of life, which he bestows upon us. We give thanks to God for everything in our life, not just the good things that happen to us, but also the challenging situations in our life. Have you ever noticed when a baseball player hits a home run, he gives thanks to God, but that when he strikes out there's no acknowledgement of God at all?
There can be no thanksgiving unless there is God. We could offer appreciation to each other for the kindnesses which we have received but we can only give thanks to God, because all that we have been has been given by God.
The nine lepers did not realize that they have been healed. They were so caught up in what they were doing, that they did not realize that their healing was from God. Only this Samaritan, an enemy of Jews, noticed the healing and came back to acknowledge.
We have had many, many healings in our lives that we may not realize. We celebrate the freedom to be here today, the freedom to worship God. In today's world, we cannot our freedom for granted. There are many suffering today who will have to risk their lives simply to come together to thank God. We pray for them, we pray for the many blessings that God has given us -the gift of the Holy Spirit who continues to inspire us. Let us love one another; let today be a time of peace and tranquility. Today we focus only on Thanksgiving. We will never complain if we have a good attitude of mind and heart - that our minds are raised up above the petty differences that often affect our lives today. May we raise up our thoughts to the level of Thanksgiving in all things.
This is George Washington’s proclamation recommending a day of Thanksgiving:
“Whereas, it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor — and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me ‘to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.’
“Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be. That we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks — for His kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation. For the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of His Providence which we experienced in the tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted — for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed…”