Thanksgiving for the Christian is more than just another holiday and there’s no better time to set a precedence of gratitude towards God than during this special season. There are lots of ways to celebrate Thanksgiving and the goodness of God and His many blessings. Here is a list of 10 ways to celebrate Thanksgiving from a Biblical perspective.
10 Ways to Celebrate Thanksgiving from a Biblical Perspective
Set aside time to describe the importance of thanksgiving as laid out in scripture
In I Thessalonians we are commanded “in everything give thanks”—in everything! It’s a requirement, but also a privilege and it shifts our focus from our problems to His great grace! In another passage, we are told to present all of our requests to God with a heart of thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6). Part of the discipline involved in being thankful is to realize the goodness of God and his everlasting love toward us (Psalm 107:1); that every good and perfect gift comes from God (James 1:17); and when thankfulness is combined with prayer and supplication it is a cure for anxiety and conduit of peace (Philippians 4:6).
Share the “Thanksgiving Story”
From the first feast of thanks with the pilgrims and Indians to the sordid trail of retail pressures in selecting the current date for Thanksgiving Day, the entire journey is of significance and is all worth mentioning. From thankfulness to greed we come full circle. The curse of sin will always taint even the best of intentions as long as we’re here on earth, as it has even on this holiday originally set aside to declare and celebrate thankfulness to God. Thanksgiving is a chance to identify true gratitude and separate it from the materialistic and secular bend that seeks to divert gratitude and devotion from God to idols. And just as God can redeem the time, he can redeem this day, starting with us.
Serve from the abundance
The passage found in 2 Corinthians 9:6-15 is an encouragement to be generous out of the many blessings we have received. There are numerous practical ways to share from the abundance, not “reluctantly or under compulsion” but with joy! Try reaching out to the less fortunate on Thanksgiving. Serve at a soup kitchen, a retirement home, children’s hospital—seek out the needs of any neighbor experiencing hardship.
The 12 days of Thanksgiving
I thought this was my original idea but found the general concept here and there on the net. The idea is to share one thing you are thankful for during the 12 days leading up to Thanksgiving Day and post them on various social media connections. Why 12? I don’t know, maybe to match the 12 days of Christmas so it’s easy to remember, but either way, it’s a great idea.
Thanksgiving offering to a family in need
This is a little redundant considering the previously mentioned “serve from abundance” category but I wanted to expound. Organize an outreach that involves recognizing the blessing we ALL experience and reaching out to those who are currently struggling with unemployment, unplanned emergency bills and other hardships. In general, organize a program for families to select another family to bless with food supplies, thanksgiving dinner, clothes, and toys or even help with unexpected expenses.
Host a small group potluck of thanks
This is a great opportunity for the members of your small group to revitalize one another’s faith with testimonies to the goodness of God in their lives. Encourage each guest to come ready with a specific thing that God has done to share with the group.
Wall of Thanks
Clear out an entire wall for posting words of thanks throughout the Thanksgiving season. In the church or in the home, clearing out some wall space for “family” members to contribute thoughts, show gratitude and express thanks in writing and illustration is the perfect outlet for cultivating a culture of thanksgiving as well as a place to reflect on some good news, for a change.
In a more corporate setting, either pre-record testimonies of special thanks or ask different members to prepare something to share at the Thanksgiving church service. Encourage those speaking to write down their thoughts ahead of time so they don’t meander –or preach an impromptu sermon. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, keep testimonies brief but amazing, and express in just a few words the kindness of God in the lives of His church.
“I am thankful” projects for kids
Don’t forget the little guys and gals this season. A spirit of gratitude should be taught and instilled in the hearts of children from an early age. Whether it is a poster, jar, pocket or folder, create a place for children to add the things they are thankful for throughout this Thanksgiving season; something creative that they can share with family and friends on Thanksgiving Day and something that they can rehearse throughout the year
I would be amiss without at least mentioning the importance of visual support to really tie in the important theme of Thanksgiving in a way that will be remembered. A colorful bulletin to announce the call to gratitude and a sermon PowerPoint to bring the message home will each aid in making this year’s Thanksgiving service effective and unforgettable.
Which one was your favorite way to celebrate Thanksgiving? Let us know in the comments below how you plan on celebrating Thanksgiving with your church, community or family! Here are some of our top Thanksgiving articles to help encourage more ways for you to celebrate Thanksgiving: Top 30 Bible Verses for Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Backgrounds, and 30 Thanksgiving Worship Songs For Your Thanksgiving Worship Service.
Thanksgiving Sermon & Worship Media
Sharefaith has over 1,000 Thanksgiving backgrounds, sermon PowerPoints, church motion graphics, bulletins, flyers, countdown timers and more which are perfect for celebrating Thanksgiving at your church or with your family. With formats in UHD 4K, HD, SD, Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop and No-Text, you’ll be able to fully customize these Thanksgiving graphics to fit your needs. Plus you can easily customize on the go with our church graphics editor, Sharefaith Designer! Learn more and view all of Sharefaith’s Fall & Thanksgiving graphics today!