Make the Quirky Turkey Treat, then continue on with the devotional.
Using a clear plastic glove used for
food preparation, fill finger tips with Reese's pieces. (About 10 in the
thumb and 8 in the fingers.) Fill the rest of the glove with popped popcorn and
tie it off with a string.
Gobble, Gobble it up!
Do you know why we celebrate Thanksgiving?
(You may want to use this time as
an opportunity to discuss some of the history of the holiday--see
Thanksgiving Day is the day we set aside as a nation to thank God for his goodness towards us.
What are some things you are
thankful for? (Receive answers.)
What are some ways we can say, "Thank
you" to God? (Receive answers.)
Have you ever begged your parents for something, and when they finally gave
it to you, you forgot to thank them? Today I want to read a story from the Bible
that speaks about such a thing.
"Now on his way to
Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he
was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a
distance and called out in a loud voice, "Jesus, Master, have pity on
us!" When he
saw them, he said, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And as they
went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed,
came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus' feet and
thanked him--and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, "Were not all ten
cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give
praise to God except this foreigner?" Then he said to him, "Rise
and go; your faith has made you well" (Luke 17:11-19).
In Jesus' time, leprosy was an incurable skin disease. People with
were hated, feared and looked down on by other people. They couldn't live with
their families or community. They were outcasts, and had to live
with other lepers. It was a lonely life, a terrible way to live!
What is important about today's Bible story is that
all ten people had leprosy, and they knew Jesus had the power to heal them and
cried out for his help. But how many were thankful when he healed them? Yes, only one.
Only one of those people took the time to come back to thank Jesus.
The other nine understood that God is all powerful
and able to heal them, yet they had thankless hearts. Let us live our lives like the
one Leper who was thankful and understand that all good things come from God.
The Bible says, "For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is
Jesus has done so much more than heal our bodies, he has healed our
broken and sinful hearts by his sacrifice on the cross. This year as we
let us remember that all good things come from God, and then thank him for his
Optional Reading: "He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him,
graciously give us all things?...Christ Jesus, who died--more than that, who was raised to life--is at
the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall
separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or
famine or nakedness or danger or sword?...No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him
who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life,
neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,
neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to
separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:32-39).
Make copies of a November or
December calendar and have your students write specific things they are thankful
for in each of the days, i.e. names of family members, friends, material possessions, etc. Then have the
children take the calendars home so that each day they are reminded of God's goodness
and can thank him for their blessings!
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was first celebrated in early colonial times in New England. After the
first harvest was completed by the Plymouth colonists in 1621, Governor William
Bradford proclaimed a day of thanksgiving and prayer. This day was celebrated by all the
colonists and neighboring Native Americans. In 1623 a day of fasting and prayer
during a period of drought was changed to one of thanksgiving because the rain
came during the prayers. Gradually the custom prevailed in New England of
annually celebrating thanksgiving after the harvest. During the American
Revolution, a yearly day of national thanksgiving was suggested by the
In 1817 New York State adopted Thanksgiving Day as an annual
custom, and by the middle of the 19th century many other states had done the
same. In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln appointed a day of thanksgiving, and
since then each president has issued a Thanksgiving Day proclamation, generally
designating the fourth Thursday of November as a holiday.