Thankful for Thanksgiving

Thankful for Thanksgiving

George Washington declared the first Thanksgiving holiday in 1789 with a beautiful, heart-stirring proclamation.  The two primary aims of this proclamation were to set aside, “a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God” and “that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions”. 

Thanksgiving did not become an annual holiday until President Lincoln’s proclamation was issued in 1863.  It included these words, “The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.”   It is astounding that such an effort was made to be grateful as a nation, considering that the country was in the middle of our long and brutal Civil War at that time.

The proclamation lists many blessings that the nation had enjoyed despite the ongoing war.  It is touching to know that our leaders were able to look about a war-torn country and still find things to be grateful for.  The proclamation goes on to express, “No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”

I thank the Lord that I live in a country founded on Godly principles.  I pray that He will not give up on this great nation.  May be humble ourselves and turn to Him.   

giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ – Ephesians 5:20 (NKJV)