Thanksgiving Day joins together friends and family to feast, laugh, and reflect upon the innumerable blessings God has granted each of us (including the ones gathered around the table). And, while Thanksgiving has sadly morphed into “Turkey Day” for many – a day to eat too much, watch football games they don’t care much about, and plan Black Friday shopping – the act of giving thanks is important.
So, in the interest of cultivating thankful hearts, here is a brief “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.
- “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” – Psalm 100
- “We pray for the big things and forget to give thanks for the ordinary, small (and yet really not small) gifts.” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together
- “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” – Philippians 4:4-9
- “You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.” – G.K. Chesterton, Collected Works
- “After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.” ― Oscar Wilde, A Woman of No Importance
- “O Lord that lends me life, Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness!” – William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 2
- “True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.” – Seneca, Letters from a Stoic
- “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.” – Cicero
- “Gratitude, being nearly the greatest of human duties, is also nearly the most difficult.” – G.K. Chesterton, “Christmas and Salesmanship”
- “Do not indulge in dreams of having what you have not, but reckon up the chief of the blessings you do possess, and then thankfully remember how you would crave for them if they were not yours.” – Marcus Aurelius