On November 26th, the vast majority of us will meet around a table, where most of our family members will sit, to celebrate Thanksgiving.

It is custom to give thanks around the table before taking part in the Thanksgiving meal. Each guest may share one or more events that happened to them during the year for which they are grateful for. Even families where faith is not prevalent participate in this tradition.

In Christian families, we praise Christ for His interventions, His deliverances, His healings and His providence. As His children, we share many testimonies of His glory and His reassuring presence that we experienced throughout the year.

This family tradition is, undoubtedly, the most important day of the year. In fact, perhaps even more important than Christmas. Its roots go deep into the history of the United States of America when the first settlers arrived on this continent in the year of 1620.

Many settlers lost their lives due to the extreme harsh conditions they encountered during colonization. In November 1621, after the first pioneers successfully harvested their first crop in the fall, historians estimate that about one hundred and forty people participated in a harvest meal where, all together, they gave thanks to God for His protection and His help.

The Plymouth colonists were likely outnumbered more than two-to-one by their Native American counterparts. This group was said to be composed of fifty English pioneers and ninety Indians who had contributed to the success of their colonization. It was a celebration of the harvest.

No one knows exactly what led these two groups to share this meal together, but they shared turkeys, vegetables and seasonal fruits, celebrating their joint common effort and success.

Even if, unfortunately, history has separated these two groups by numerous and terrible wars, there remains today a celebration and the recognition of God for His interventions in our lives.

Could you imagine having such a harvest meal in the days and weeks to come, where instead of simply enjoying the dishes on the table, you could initiate a family tradition similar to that of the first Thanksgiving?

What a wonderful opportunity to express your gratitude to God in front of your family members who still don’t believe in Christ!

There will be plenty of opportunities between Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. So, it is now your turn to create your own “Thanksgiving Day”!

Eric Dufour