Giving Thanks

Jim Coyle

"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."  I Thessalonians 5:18

As we celebrate Thanksgiving Day, we may think of the Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians celebrating a harvest that would last through the winter.  After this, there were other times of thanksgiving in the United States, but there was no official holiday until 1863.  In the middle of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day in which to express thanks for the many blessings enjoyed by Americans, despite the military conflict.  A portion of the proclamation reads as follows:

"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 voice by the whole American people.  I do, therefore, invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens."

Today, as we celebrate let's remember that Thanksgiving was declared a holiday during one of the worst times of the history of our country.  President Lincoln remembered to thank and praise God in the midst of bad circumstances.  We should remember to thank and praise God no matter the circumstances since He is the only one who can get through them all.

1 comment (Add your own)

1. Shelly Smith wrote:
Very helpful thank you! We always share this bit of history during our Thanksgiving meal. I hope others in the church will make it part of their family tradition too.

Mon, December 5, 2011 @ 6:14 AM

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