One thing to be grateful for is the fact that our increasingly secularized senators, representatives, Supreme Court justices, and President have not yet abandoned the national celebration of Thanksgiving on grounds that it constitutes a blurring of the line between Church and State. Another thing to be thankful for is the fact that we can render our Thanksgiving to the one true God without fear of retribution or punishment.
We've heard a zillion times how easy it is for us in America to take our liberties for granted, but it never really sinks in. We still take our liberties for granted, and we don't ever get a reality-check or any substantive perspective on our freedom compared to that of the rest of the world. The ancient Roman practice of trying to make Christians worship idols seems like the distant past, and peace and plenty are the order of the day.
It's as if the rest of the world was a TV-induced dream from which Americans have yet to wake up. Sure, we're glad we don't have to scrounge garbage heaps to find food, or worship Christ in secret for fear of imprisonment and torture, or worry about showing up to a burned church every Sunday. We're glad, but are we really thankful?
Not that we should only be thankful that things aren't that bad around here. We ought to be fervently thanking God that things in America are so good, that we enjoy peace within our borders, that there's plenty to eat and nice houses to live in, that we have so much free time, that the government doesn't tell us where to worship, or how, or whom.
These are the things we should primarily be thankful for, in fact. God gives out of His good pleasure, and He has seen fit to bless us in a variety of ways, both material and spiritual. The Pilgrims were thankful for exactly those things when they first celebrated Thanksgiving Day with a ragtag group of English pioneers and American Indians.
Part of our curse as fallen humans is that we can't possibly thank God enough for anything. The Puritan theology of the Pilgrims was very clear on this, and we ought to be as well—one day set aside for thanksgiving isn't what God wants. God wants our hearts and will be satisfied with nothing less, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be glad we have a day to revel in His blessing. We should be glad, glad enough to render thanksgiving where it is due every single day of the year.