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Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (Public domain) via Wikimedia Commons
The first American Thanksgiving was nearly 400 years ago in 1621 at Plymouth in Massachusetts. The pilgrims from England had recently arrived in the New World. Because their first winter was very difficult, many people died. But the Native Americans, who understood how to grow crops in that area, helped the newcomers, and after much hard work, the Pilgrims had a successful harvest season. Together with their Native American friends, they celebrated the abundance of food with a harvest festival where they thanked God for blessing them (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Thanksgiving is a time when we focus on thanking God for his blessings. The Bible tells
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”
(James 1:17). Ultimately God is the source of our blessings.
Stop and think of a list of things that God has blessed you with. There are so many things to be thankful for, but the best blessing of all is God’s gift of salvation. You see, the Bible tells us that the first man, Adam, disobeyed (sinned against) God, and the punishment for sin is death (Genesis 2:17). The Bible also tells us that, because we are all descended from Adam, we’re all sinners, so we all face the same penalty for sin—death (Romans 5:12, 1 Corinthians 15:21–23). But Jesus came and died on the Cross, taking the punishment that we deserve because of our sin. Jesus offers eternal life in heaven to all who will put their faith and trust in him (Romans 5:17, John 3:16). What a good gift from our Creator!
What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?
Read about how one kid, Justin, discovered thankfulness through a fun game when he went hunting for thank-you notes. This could be a fun activity to do with your family this holiday. You can read the story here.
For more fun activities, see Answers Bible Curriculum Thanksgiving Lesson and scroll down for games.