When the President of the United States speaks, people notice. That can be good or bad, depending on the nature of the President’s comments. Today is a good day to remember one particular presidential proclamation.
You need to understand the context of these comments. They’re given during a time when the nation is embroiled in an unpopular war, when there’s considerable conflict within our borders concerning matters of racial justice. Despite national economic success, there is cause for concern in many homes and families.
In response, the President, while pointing out the good and bad situations facing the nation, offered this proclamation:
“I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwells in the heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions [i.e. credit] justly due to Him for such 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 intervention 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.”
Impressive. Proclaiming thanks for God’s blessings, and penitence for our brokenness. And the fervent prayer for God to heal our wounds and provide peace for our land. Pretty insightful comments, considering there were offered in 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln, fully 154 years ago. This sounds like a great way to approach Thanksgiving this year for all of us.
As for me, I’m thankful to God for many things, not least of which is each one of you who are (or have been) part of Seneca Creek. Being your pastor is one of God’s greatest blessings. Enjoy this holiday, and continue proclaiming gratitude to our wildly generous God.