Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Day of Thanks

Thanksgiving has long been one of my favorite holidays. Now that the whole extended family is growing up and lots of the cousins have their own families and don't live nearby, we don't get together as often as we once did. Yet Thanksgiving is still one of the few times a year when we all get together. (I'm not sure how long that last statement will hold accurate, but for the time being such is the case.) I've always loved getting together with the family on Thanksgiving and partaking of the wonderful foods that the women in the Anderson Family have such an awe-inspiring talent for preparing.
However, though I love the food and the camaraderie of the family, there is a higher reason for the celebration of this great holiday.
On Oct 3, 1863, when the United States of America was in the midst of a great civil war, Abraham Lincoln made a proclamation that declared the last Thursday of November to be celebrated universally to give thanks. If you've never read this proclamation I highly recommend it. Here's a link.
In this proclamation, after listing off the many and varied ways in which the nation had been blessed, despite war, President Lincoln says the following:

"No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great (blessings). 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."

Would that our current President would/could make such proclamations today.
And so this week of Thanksgiving, let us, in our merry-making, remember the fount from which our many blessings flow, and let us strive to do that which we are able to do to show in our daily lives how grateful we really are for the merciful blessings of heaven in our lives.

1 comment:

  1. Wouldn't that be awesome if the leaders of our country said similarly inspiring words today like Lincoln? Thanks for sharing that!