I think this article is exquisite... such a needed piece for a truly full Thanksgiving. For as much emphasis as there is on the pilgrims and their first harvest festivals- such a great thing to remember and honor at this time!- how helpful and good it is too, to understand this fuller setting behind this rich tradition.
In her article for the Boston Globe, Eve LaPlante looks into the European roots of this American developed holiday and notes that in the beginning, days of thanksgiving never came alone. They followed fast days of repentance and petition to God for help, rescue, favor. LaPlante recounts much of the life of one of her own ancestors, Judge Samuel Sewall, who modeled well the characteristics of repentance and prayer and who she sets forth as a beautiful example of what we can pray might influence our country's leaders and our own lives today.