Let's Celebrate Thanksgiving!
Praise ye the Lord: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely.
According to our text verse, praise feels right (is “pleasant“) and looks right (is “comely“).
Now for a definition from WEBSTERS 1828 – “Celebrate” means:
- To praise…
- To keep holy…
- To honor or distinguish by ceremonies and marks of joy and respect…
So, in answer to the question “How shall we celebrate Thanksgiving?”, our definition gives us some guidelines. It should be a memorable event which…
- Honors Christ
- Praises the Lord
- Maintains a balance of Joy and Respect
Here are some principles and some ideas. You may wish to add some of your own.
1. Always feature prayer and Scripture
(Choose from Psalm 100, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, 150)
This should not be an afterthought nor should you refrain in any way simply because family and friends may not share intense faith. Read the Scripture and study it ahead of time.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
…We ought to obey God rather than men.
- Keep your family Bible in easy reach of the Thanksgiving table. (This is a good idea for all year – a constant reminder to read God’s Word together.)
- Place a Bible or a hand-written scroll with Psalm 100 as a centerpiece or as part of it.
- Have Scripture verses on pretty slips of paper by each place setting for each one to read-in-turn.
- For the children, hide Thanksgiving candies wrapped in Thanksgiving Scripture verses for them to find and then read the Scripture.
- While guests are coming, play recordings of Alexander Scorby reading the Bible from the Psalms. Play the recording just above soft instrumental music, setting a great atmosphere!
- After the meal, suggest that everyone around the Thanksgiving table share something for which they are very thankful. “I’m thankful for ________” For variety, it could be alphabetical, or could spell out T-H-A-N-K-S-G-I-V-I-N-G. (Example: “I’m thankful for T – Turkey.” “I’m thankful for H – a home in Heaven.” “I’m thankful for A – Answered prayer.” Continue going around the table.
- Have a prayer time. Make a list ahead of time or ask each person for a prayer request. Each person could pray for one thing (country, military, church family, loved ones…) or there could be a designated pray-er who is not intimidated to pray out loud. (Don’t put anyone to sleep!)
2. Sing! (With Joy!)
- Have songbooks or song sheets with familiar Thanksgiving hymns and choruses:
- Thank You, Lord
- God Is So Good
- Great Is Thy Faithfulness
- We Gather Together
- Let’s Just Praise The Lord
- Praise The Lord
- Count Your Blessings
- If you or your family guests are creative, write a Thanksgiving song or poem.
- Ask musical family members and guests to prepare some special Thanksgiving music. (Keep it traditional and with a Thanksgiving message.)
3. Keep good memories alive and make some new memories
- Bring out the old photo albums and review your family heritage. Shoot new pictures to add to these.
- Record participants reminiscing for future play: “What do you remember, Grandpa?” The older family and guests can share memories from long-ago Thanksgivings, or all family and guests can share favorite memories.
- Children dress up as Pilgrims and Native Americans at the first Thanksgiving. Read something from the Plymouth Rock or Plantation era, perhaps the Mayflower Compact, and comments.
4. Promote Togetherness
- Get together the day before Thanksgiving and bake something.
- Consider a Thanksgiving potluck with everyone sharing.
- Take a plate or several plates of Thanksgiving dinner to those who are alone or needy.
- Have a “No Gossip – No Griping” rule agreed upon.