Is the Thanksgiving holiday a religious one? I suppose that depends upon who you are thanking. If your Thanksgiving Day is spent being thankful to yourself for all you accomplished, accumulated, earned, weathered, endured, enjoyed, and produced then your Thanksgiving Day is only religious if you believe you are one to be revered and worshiped. If you are your own God and expect that family and friends should also recognize your Lordship, then you could still consider Thanksgiving a religious holiday.
Thanksgiving Day can be like many other holidays that are religious to some but for others only a day to celebrate self and one’s own creativity. The “Good news of great joy” message of Christmas can be replaced with a non-religious chubby benefactor from the North Pole. The Christian salvation message of Easter can be replaced with a “hippity hoppity candy’s on its way.” It is interesting how some people replace the God, to whom on Thanksgiving Day we give thanks for everything, with a make-believe character who is as fictitious as Santa and the Easter Bunny. They imagine that they are somehow able to bless themselves and be in control of their own world. Maybe one day they will wake up and realize there is no Santa, rabbit with multi-colored eggs, or a person who does not need God.
The day of Thanksgiving is a holy day for all who believe in a God who created all things and who so loved us that He provided forgiveness for sin and everlasting life through His son Jesus who died for us. We give thanks to God every day, but on Thanksgiving Day our central theme is to count our blessings and thank God for every one of them. I thank God for cranberries, potatoes, okra, corn, and a wife who can cook. I thank God for a family to love who are not allowed to reject me. I thank God for work and ministry and health to keep on working. I thank God for hearing my prayers and inviting me to walk with Him each day. And, I thank God for His written word because God’s Word matters.