Bishop Allende's Sermon at Interfaith Thanksgiving Service
“God is our Refuge and Strength”
What is it that we celebrate every fourth Thursday in November?
Although our celebration of Thanksgiving is not a religious holiday per se, for thousands of years, human communities have observed harvest festivals that have a religious origin. Several of the annual celebrations described in the Hebrew Scriptures were previously harvest festivals onto which the Israelites layered their tribe's historical memories.
In 1621 in Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts, the pilgrims held an autumn harvest festival a year after their arrival on the Mayflower.
In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln called for a national day of Thanksgiving, in hopes that such a festival might bring some unity between North and South.
In 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt declared the fourth Thursday in November to be a national Thanksgiving holiday.
But now, in contrast to 4500 years ago, this has become a national day of feasting and family, and football; but not so much to come to worship to thank God. (read more)