The Thanksgiving holiday tradition traces its origins to a 1621 celebration at Plymouth, in the state that's now known as Massachusetts. The 1621 Plymouth feast and thanksgiving was prompted by a good harvest. While initially, the Plymouth colony did not have enough food to feed half of the 102 colonists, the Wampanoag Native Americans helped the Pilgrims by providing seeds and teaching them to fish. The practice of holding an annual harvest festival like this did not become a regular affair in New England until the late 1660s. People now celebrate the holiday by giving thanks for their blessings over the past year, as well as feasting on turkey and other festive goodies.
On this thanksgiving day, many artists and Christian leaders share their thoughts and thanks:
Darlene Zschech: "I am entering this day with a new depth of thanksgiving. In the midst of this crazy year, I have enjoyed the extended moments of simplicity, and the pleasure of taking time to do the things in life that truly matter. I encourage you to step into this thanksgiving season with creativity and a full heart... waiting with expectation and gladness xxxx"
Phil Wickham: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7). How incredible are these verses! Every phrase and word full of hope and perspective changing promise. I think it's important to note that Paul wrote these verses, and the entire letter of "Philippians", while he was locked up in Prison. It is so powerful to me the way that Paul demonstrates the kind of perspective a believer can have in the midst of hard times.
Though Paul wrote it while in prison, Philippians is the most joyful book in the Bible. He uses the words for "Joy" and "Rejoice" 16 times in only 104 verses! And partnered right in there with "Joy" is "Thankfulness". I have found in my life that the two go hand in hand. Intentional prayers of simple thanks to God get my eyes off of my disappointments and shortcomings and bring into focus the goodness and generosity of the Father. And the more in focus He is, the more my soul responds with Joy and worship.
Wherever you find yourself this Thanksgiving, geographically, physically, emotionally, spiritually... I encourage you to take a moment and give thanks this Thanksgiving. Take a walk, be alone with God, speak out loud. Maybe don't even ask for anything this time around. Just let your heart and mind run through all that he has done/given/made/promised and simply say "thanks" for it all. It's an antidote for anxiety. A defense against depression. A catalyst for joy, and leads to a heart responding in worship."
Zach Williams: "I hope everyone has a very happy and safe Thanksgiving with the people you love. I'm thankful for all of you!"
Bill and Gloria Gaither: "We pray you have a blessed Thanksgiving holiday this year! We invite you to take a moment to remember the Lord's faithfulness with songs from our Thanksgiving Blessings playlist at the link in our profile!"
Travis Greene: "Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday! In the south, the weather is usually just right, the food is next level, the laughs are louder, and the love is stronger! Man I have so much to be thankful for - my family, my friends, my faith! I honestly feel healthier this year than I have in many years. The pace has helped me to reset and to once again make the main thing, the main thing!
I pray that no matter what's happening in your life, you'd find something to be thankful for. There are many who wish they had the life that you complain about. Happy Thanksgiving everybody! Love u."
JJ Weeks: "Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! In crazy times like these it's important to remember what you are thankful for. It's easy to focus on the things that aren't going right but for today, count your blessings! Remember where you have been and where you are today. If you have nothing else to be thankful for be thankful for that next heartbeat and breath."
Carrie Underwood: "My list of things I'm thankful for is too vast. First and foremost, my family. We had a baby earlier this year, which is crazy to think about all of the things that we've done and thinking about starting off this year pregnant and having a baby and all of the places that he's already seen. I'm thankful for health and we've had safety along all of our travels. Of course, I'm thankful for the tour and I'm thankful to the fans that have come out to see us. There's a lot to be thankful for. God has blessed us with some incredible stuff and hopefully we've done good with what we've been blessed with."
Kari Jobe: "Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues to all generations. Psalm 100:4-5."
Tauren Wells: "I am so thankful for every one of you. Listening to my music, preaching, and podcasts. Coming out to shows, wearing merch, and bringing your friends!! So many of you cover us in prayer and share encouraging words and it means so much. For ALL THE LOVE, GRACE, AND SUPPORT - I AM THANKFUL!! "
Brian Houston (Hillsong): "Wishing all of our friends in the USA a happy Thanksgiving. Be blessed."