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This article was published November 22, 2012 at 12:24 a.m.

— DEAR REV. GRAHAM: Does our holiday of Thanksgiving come from a religious event that’s found in the Bible, like Christmas or Easter do?

  • T.O’C.

DEAR T.O’C.: Unlike Christmas and Easter (which commemorate the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus), our celebration of Thanksgiving doesn’t come directly from a specific event in the Bible.

But it does come indirectly from the Bible - because every year God’s people came together to thank God for his blessings. This happened more than once during the year - for example, at the beginning of the harvest, and then again at the end of the harvest season. It also happened on special occasions, such as after they had gained victory over their enemies. The Psalmist declared, “The Lord is my strength and my shield .... I will give thanks to him in song” (Psalm 28:7).

It’s important to set aside time to reflect on God’s goodness to us - which is what we all should do as we celebrate Thanksgiving this year. No matter what you might be going through right now, God has blessed you far more than you probably imagine - not just with material goods, but with family, with freedom and with the ability to enjoy his gifts. The Bible says, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Most of all, God has blessed us by giving us the privilege of knowing him and walking with him every day. He did this by sending his son into the world to die for our sins. As you celebrate Thanksgiving this year, may you celebrate the greatest gift of all by inviting Jesus Christ to come into your life. Then thank God for all his blessings every day throughout the year.

Write to Billy Graham in care of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C. 28201 or visit the website at

Weekend, Pages 42 on 11/22/2012




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