Is Thanksgiving a religious holiday? I'm in fifth grade and I have to write a paper on how my family celebrates Thanksgiving. My teacher hasn't said anything about thanking God, however. — M.S.
Yes, originally Thanksgiving was a religious holiday. Almost 400 years ago, the Pilgrims, some of the first settlers from Europe, set aside a special day to remember God's goodness and to thank Him for taking care of them.
Thanksgiving should still be a time of thanking God for all His blessings to us, both as individuals and as a nation. Admittedly, many people have lost sight of this and treat it as only a secular holiday—but when we do, we miss its true meaning. Thanksgiving also should remind us that we are dependent on God for everything—our freedoms, our resources, our families, everything. As the Bible says, "Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand" (1 Chronicles 29:14). This is one reason the Bible says, "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good" (Psalm 136:1).
I hope you and your family will pause on Thanksgiving Day to thank God for His gifts. Most of all, thank Him for the greatest gift of all—the gift of His Son Jesus, who came to give us the gift of eternal life through faith in Him. Ask Him to come into your life today.