With your students not only what the Christian history of this day is, but to remind them of all we have to be thankful for. In light of the abundant natural disasters we’ve witnessed this year, we can each think of many blessings for which to praise God. Media can be so depressing and negative; take time to point out how bountiful God has been to each of us, being especially thankful that we live in this free country where our worship is still protected.
The cornucopia has long been a table symbol of Thanksgiving. Let each student make one of construction paper, wire wrapped with paste and newspaper, or use a purchased one. Instead of filling it with the usual fruits and vegetables, encourage your students to fill it with items that represent what they are thankful for. Pictures of family, a small Bible, a favorite symbol, like a church steeple (it could be drawn on paper) or the American flag, or a replica of their home fashioned out of craft sticks are some suggestions.
Next, read to the class the story of the widow and the small amount of oil she had on hand (I Kings 17). This woman of faith trusted God to increase her meager gift and the oil remained at a constant full level, even though she continued to draw from it. God is like the Cornucopia and the oil barrel: He continually makes more for us to draw from when we honor Him with what we have. No matter the actual amount, it is honoring God with our possessions that fills our barns with plenty and overflows the barrels that began with so little (Proverbs 3: 9,10).
The first Thanksgiving in the Plymouth, Massachusetts’ colony was a picture of God’s bounty poured out onto a group of people who acknowledged that God is the giver of all that we have. In reading the first hand narratives from Of Plymouth Plantation, by William Bradford, we immediately understand his knowledge of Scripture and his designating all that his colony had as a direct supplying of every need from an all powerful God. Note: Look carefully at the copy of this book you purchase. You will probably not find an unabridged copy new. The original, unedited book is the only version which contains all of Bradford’s prayers and biblical references. The new abridged and edited versions have removed his prayers and many of his references which give God the credit for the colony’s successes. Always look for the originals!