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Thanksgiving Day, presently celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November, has been an annual tradition in the United States since 1863. It did not become a federal holiday until 1941. Thanksgiving was historically a religious observation to give thanks to God, but is now primarily identified as a secular holiday. [Wikipedia]

Which, by the way, I’ll take. I know: you’re stunned — a day of joint thanksgiving for a secular purpose, and that I’ll wrap my arms around.

But here’s the thing: gratitude is the core Christian virtue. It’s the one all our other virtues are built on. Tomorrow is a day when the nation is imitating us — and many of them, like the men of Athens whom Paul addressed in Acts 17, don’t know to whom to be grateful. To them, God is unknown — and unknowable. This is one day when we can leverage their ignorance and their imitation of what we are and what we ought to be into a lesson about the one true God — whose offspring we are. We shouldn’t think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, formed by the art and imagination of man, let alone that He is in the shape of a turkey. And it is Him to whom we must be grateful.

Over the next couple of days, many of the bloggers here will post a brief note about why they are thankful, but as we kick this off I just wanted to point out that we are all thankful, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the good conscience to be thankful to God, and the good sense to show that gratitude as love for our neighbor.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you, and may God richly bless you in this season of gratitude.

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