In Everything Give Thanks! - Salvation Army Canada
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    In Everything Give Thanks!

    Retrospective #25 October 6, 2017 Randy C. Hicks
    "All good gifts around us are sent from Heaven above!"
    "All good gifts around us are sent from Heaven above!"

    Retrospective #25 “IN EVERYTHING GIVE THANKS!”
    Randy C. Hicks

    As a Divisional Youth Secretary, CO, and Puppeteer, when early October rolled around I used to do this routine with the kids:

    Me/Or Puppet: “Did you know that water is sometimes stored in large tanks? Did you know that?”

    Kids: “Yes!”

    Me: “Did you know that Gasoline and Oil are sometimes stored in large tanks? Did you know that?”

    Kids: “Yes!”

    Me: “Did you know that dangerous Chemicals and Propane gas are sometimes stored in large tanks? Did you know that?”

    Kids: “Yes!”

    Me: “Do you understand the point of these questions?”

    Kids: “No!”

    Me: “Tanks for everything!”

    Ba-dum-ching!

    Wikipedia tells us that according to some historians, the first celebration of Thanksgiving in North America occurred during the 1578 voyage of Martin Frobisher from England, in search of the Northwest Passage “Thanksgiving” or “Thanksgiving Day” is an annual Canadian holiday, occurring on the second Monday in October, which celebrates the harvest and other blessings of the past year…
    Thanksgiving has been officially celebrated as an annual holiday in Canada since November 6, 1879, when parliament passed a law designating a national day of thanksgiving. The date, however, was not fixed and moved earlier and later in the year, though it was commonly the third Monday in October.
    On January 31, 1957, the Governor General of Canada Vincent Massey issued a proclamation stating: "A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed – to be observed on the 2nd Monday in October."
    (Thank you Wikipedia)

    Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Day, Harvest Thanksgiving, Harvest and Harvest Festival are interchangeable monikers given to this special time and in particular – day of the year. I was once told about a preacher who said: “Thanksgiving” is not a Biblical observance and thus we are not required to celebrate it.

    I strongly beg to differ!

    When doing an assignment in a course on Judaism I designed my Sunday meeting for Thanksgiving around chapter seven of John’s Gospel - The Feast of Tabernacles, or Booths, known on the Jewish calendar as “Sukkot.”

    Speaking of Sukkot - Tori Avey shares the following on her website: Sukkot is a harvest holiday, which means that the foods served are seasonal in nature. The Sukkot menu generally features vegetables and fruits that are harvested at the turn of the season—apples, squash, eggplants, grapes, etc. As a food lover, this holiday is one of my favorites because we are encouraged to create dishes from fresh and delicious seasonal ingredients. The arrival of Sukkot ushers in the autumn season; Sukkot foods are inspired by the bounty of the harvest.
    Does this all sound a little familiar? You might have noticed that the Sukkot holiday resembles the American tradition of Thanksgiving. Believe it or not, the similarities between Sukkot and Thanksgiving actually have a historical frame of reference. Before coming to the New World, the Pilgrims lived for a short time among Sephardic Jews in Holland. In fact, our American Thanksgiving tradition may have been indirectly inspired by the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.
    (Thank you Tori)

    As Canadian Christians we too lay claim to a Biblical heritage and seek to model our lives according to the better examples offered in scripture. Even if that were not the case –

    We are blessed!

    We are thankful!

    We appreciate our freedom!

    We are grateful for our country!

    Merci Beaucoup!

    I’m not sure that every Corps or church does this but many still do – they set up a “Thanksgiving Display” either in the foyer or at the front of the hall around the Mercy Seat. In Canada, in poorer times, before the regulation of salaries (Allowances!) and benefits for officers had evolved, these collections of food were often given to the CO and family to help see them through the year (particularly the winter months). Nowadays we relate it more and more with the need to replenish our food banks and thereby continue helping the growing number of those of our communities needing this kind of assistance. Below you will find pictures of examples of these exhibits from the past going way back. Some displays are rather humble and are quite basic while others obviously went all out in their efforts.

    I recall the story of one CO’s family who were the recipients of this gift of food. The containers had been temporarily left on the kitchen floor to be stored away a little later. Unnoticed, their two-year old disappeared into said kitchen, appearing a short time later with an apple in each hand – both having the marks of two or three teeth! Moving to check on him mom soon discovered that there was a trail of bitten apples leading all the way back to the boxes! I think it safe to say the youngster was grateful!

    A couple of the photos that follow are not from the archives but were found online...

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!🇨🇦🇧🇲

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