This was the title of an article by my friend Nathan Winters who leads the Family Policy Alliance of Wyoming. It jolted me when I read it and I hope it does the same to you. It literally made me stop and realize that despite all the craziness in today’s world, we must slow down and celebrate a truly American holiday.
I needed to be reminded that of the 102 original Mayflower passengers, only 44 survived. It was the kindness of the local Native Americans that saved them from a cold, wintery death. The Pilgrims’ modeled remarkable courage and faith in a God of providence that we could learn from. Did you know that the following Spring (1621) when the Mayflower returned to Europe, not a single Pilgrim deserted Plymouth? Read about it here.
Nathan’s piece further reminded me that George Washington issued the first Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1789, a few years after the Revolutionary War and two years after our Constitution was enacted. This holiday was important to our founding fathers. Here is the Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1789…
“Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be– That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks–for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation–for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war–for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed–for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted–for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.
And also 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– to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually–to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed–to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord–To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us–and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.”
The last two years has made us more aware than ever before that the governments of this world are flawed but we can still be thankful. Thanksgiving is a reminder that Christmas is coming, and that Child born 2,000 years ago will one day set things right….
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the
government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to
uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and
forevermore.” – Isaiah 9:6-7
My prayer for you is that despite the losses you may have experienced these last few years, you will be reminded that God’s love and promises will ultimately be fulfilled in His Son Jesus Christ.
Chairman, Board of Advisors – Rhode Island