True Meaning of Thanksgiving

  • Cast Number: 3
  • Run-time: 20 minutes
  • Bible Reference: Psalm111
The true meaning of, and behind, Thanksgiving Day. Are we celebrating Thanksgiving or tradition?
Would it still be Thanksgiving if there were no football and if we didn't have a turkey?
What was the reason for the first Thanksgivings, and is the reason still true today?

Sample of script:

Jimmy comes on stage, followed by Tommy & Billie

Tommy: Hey Jimmy, how’s things?

Jimmy: Hi Tommy, just getting ready for our Thanksgiving service here at (name of church).

Tommy: So, where’s the Pilgrims and the football and the turkey and all that good Thanksgiving stuff?

Jimmy: Well, no, I am planning the Thanksgiving (emphasize) service.

Tommy: I heard you, but you can’t hardly have Thanksgiving without Pilgrims costumes and parties and turkeys and football games and stuff, after all, that’s what Thanksgiving is all about.

Billie: Everybody knows that the Pilgrims and the Native Americans were the ones who started Thanksgiving, way back in the 17th century.

Tommy: Yeppers, very first Thanksgiving service in the New World, right there at Plymouth, way back in 1631!

Jimmy: That isn’t quite true, there were other Thanksgiving services earlier than that.

Billie: No way, like I say, it was the Pilgrims.

Jimmy: One of the earliest recorded celebrations happened a half-century before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth in 1631. A small colony of French Huguenots established a settlement near where Jacksonville, Florida is today. On June 30, 1564, their leader, Rene de Laudonniere, recorded that "We sang a psalm of Thanksgiving unto God, beseeching Him that it would please Him to continue His accustomed goodness towards us."

Billie: Yeh, maybe so, but that wasn’t like a real Thanksgiving, it was just kinda like a church service, sounds like. Bet they didn’t even have a football game back then!

Jimmy: No, Billie, they didn’t, but then neither did they have a football game at Plymouth either.

Billie: You’re not serious! Thanksgiving and no football? Wow! How did they pass the time on Thanksgiving.

Jimmy: Actually in thanking God for all He had given them.

Billie: Wow! Would never fly now!

Tommy: So it was Jacksonville and not Plymouth that had the first Thanksgiving?

Jimmy: Actually no, the first Thanksgiving service in North America didn’t happen at Plymouth and it didn’t happen at Jacksonville either.

Billie: OK, so then where in these Unites States did the first Thanksgiving service happen?

Jimmy: Well, fact is, the first recorded Thanksgiving service didn’t happen in the US at all.

Billie: It what? It what? OK now, you Jimmy have just gone too far this time! What you are saying here is simply heresy, sacrilege, blasphemy! Why it’s, it’s high treason!

Tommy: You mean the first Thanksgiving didn’t happen in America?

Jimmy: Yes, it did, in North America. The first North American Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1578 when the English Navigator, Martin Frobisher, held a formal ceremony in Newfoundland, in Canada. He did this to give thanks for surviving the long sea journey; and when other settlers arrived in Newfoundland the tradition was continued.

Tommy: Is that true, Jimmy?

Jimmy, looking in book: Yes, appears it is. Just look here in this encyclopedia. Says, “Many years later the Canadian Parliament declared the second Monday in October of each year to be ‘A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed"’.

Billie: See there, just proves how little you know, everybody knows Thanksgiving isn’t second Monday in October!

Tommy: Yes, it is in Canada, says so here.

Billie: Well, Jimmy, I should hope you are very proud of yourself, spoiling Thanksgiving for all of us!

Jimmy: Spoiling Thanksgiving? How did I spoil it for you Billie?

Tommy: How can we go around celebrating Thanksgiving if some foreigners were the first to do it? Spoiled forever, that’s what.

Jimmy: Why do you feel it is spoiled Tommy? Sounds to me like you are celebrating tradition, and not celebrating Thanksgiving.

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