The Word “Thanksgiving”
“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. And I recommend to them that, while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation, and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.”
The generosity and mercy of God are what brought the Native Americans and the Colonists together in the 1600’s for Thanksgiving. Massasoit and Sqanto, two Christian Native Americans were instrumental in coming together with the Colonists to give thanks to the Almighty Creator. The meal was just a means to get together to give thanks, not the focus. Can we remember this Thanksgiving, it’s not about the meal, or shopping, but about counting our blessings and thanking the God who mercifully and generously gives, even among and through the hardships and sin-ravaged world we live in.
As in the mid 1800’s, our country again is polarizing and turning against one other. Maybe this Thanksgiving can again be a time to unify a nation…it can be…when we count our blessings, and give thanks.