The history of Thanksgiving in Canada can be traced back to the 1578 voyage of Martin Frobisher from England in search of the Northwest Passage. In this, his third, voyage to the Frobisher Bay area of Baffin Island in the present Canadian Territory of Nunavut, it was also the intention to start a small settlement and his fleet of 15 ships were so fitted out with men, materials and provisions for this purpose. However, the loss of one of his ships through contact with ice along with much of the building material was to prevent him from doing so. The expedition was plagued by ice and freak storms which at times had scattered the fleet and on meeting together again at their anchorage in Frobisher Bay, Writes Frobisher in his journal, “Mayster Wolfall, a learned man, appointed by her Majesties Councell to be their minister and preacher, made unto them a godly sermon, exhorting them especially to be thankefull to God for their strange and miraculous deliverance in those so dangerous places…They celebrated Communion and The celebration of divine mystery was the first sign, scale, and confirmation of Christ's name, death and passion ever known in all these quarters. "Though Thanksgiving Day has degenerated to virtually a pagan holiday of gluttony, its roots go back to the gospel of Jesus Christ, as Frobisher was simply being obedient to the innumerable passages that exhort God's people to give Him thanks.
The one that most clearly comes to mind is his exhortation to the Thessalonian church, wherein the apostle Paul writes:
Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (5:18)This is why God has saved us in Christ: to give thanks to Him in everything and for everything.
Yes, we are thankful for our country. And yes we are thankful for the many physical blessings such as full fridges, closets, garages, and bank accounts.
But ultimately, we are thankful for the true Spiritual riches that we have in Christ Jesus (Eph. 1:3ff.).
Beloved, God has saved us in Christ that we might praise Him for His glorious grace (Eph. 1:6, 12, 14). God, through Christ, has made us His very own possession, that we might proclaim the excellencies of Him who called us out of darkness and into His marvelous light (1 Pet. 2:9).
The "continual offering" God seeks from His people is "the sacrifice of praise, that is the fruit of lips that acknowledge His name" (Heb. 13:15).
These are all saying the same thing: God has saved us to give thanks to Him.
What we call Thanksgiving Day, the French call "Jour de l'Action de grâce." Spending a day together to celebrate [God's] "action" grace. I like that. And so does our great King.
As you celebrate Thanksgiving this year, make sure you take time to "give thanks to the LORD, for His steadfast love endures forever."
It is good to give thanks to the LORD,
to sing praises to Your Name,
O Most High;
to declare Your steadfast love in the morning,
and Your faithfulness by night. (Psa. 92:1-2)
"Your blood has washed away my sin, Jesus thank You;
The Father's wrath completely satisfied, Jesus thank You.
Once an enemy, now seated at Your table, Jesus thank You."
In Christ, and for the sake of His glory to the ends of the earth,