In 1789, President George Washington declared that the nation would set aside November 26th as a day of national thanksgiving. Thanksgiving Day continues to bring friends and family together in feasting, laughing, and reflecting upon the innumerable blessings God has granted us (including the ones gathered around the table).
And while Thanksgiving is not a Church feast, Scripture repeatedly calls us to be thankful people. So, in the interest of cultivating thankful hearts, here is a “reader” for Thanksgiving Day – a collection of Scripture and quotes that can be used at your family gathering, around your Thanksgiving table, or even personally, as you reflect upon what God has done for you and your loved ones.
- “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” – St. Paul, Colossians 3:16-17
- “Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
- “I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”—G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936)
- “Gratitude looks to the Past and love to the Present; fear, avarice, lust, and ambition look ahead.” – C.S. Lewis (1898-1963)
- “My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast! I will sing and make melody! Awake, my glory! Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn! I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. For your steadfast love is great to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!” – David, Psalm 57:7-11 (Note: David wrote this while in the Cave of Adullam, running for his life from King Saul)
- “Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” – A.A. Milne (1882-1956)
- “Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones. And when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.” – Victor Hugo (1802-1885)
- “Families are messy. Immortal families are eternally messy. Sometimes the best we can do is to remind each other that we’re related for better or for worse…and try to keep the maiming and killing to a minimum.” – Rick Riordan (1964-), The Sea of Monsters
- “Cherish your gifts, however humble, and take pleasure in them. Spend the rest of your days looking only to the gods from whom come every good gift and seeing no man as either master or slave.” – Marcus Aurelius (121-180 A.D.)
- “One moment of prayer, of weak worship, confused contrition, tepid thanksgiving, or pitiful petition will bring us closer to God than all the books of theology in the world.” – Peter Kreeft (1937-), Prayer for Beginners