Perhaps Thanksgiving is the least controversial holiday we share in the USA. It is important to be thankful and to share with others. Almost everyone agrees.History.comtells us that:
In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two
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centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. It wasn’t until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War,that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.
During one of the most troubled and painful periods of our nation’s history, we began to give thanks as a nation.
This year, we are once again very troubled. Giving of thanks and sharing seems to be one of the best ways to forget our troubles and focus on our blessings.
America has traditionally been a thankful nation because we have been a predominantly Christian nation. Leonard Woolsey Bacon recognizes that even the moment of discovery of America was providential.
If the discovery of America had been achieved four centuries or even a single century earlier, the Christianity to be transplanted to the western world would have been that of the church of Europe at its lowest stage of decadence. The period closing with the fifteenth century was that of the dense darkness that goes before the dawn.
How true that:
My times are in Your hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies, and from those who persecute me. Psalm 31:15
Just as the Lord has this nation in His hand, he has each of us in His hand.
While Americans have been predominantly Christian, this is beginning to change. In public schools our children are being taught facts without background, wrong ideas and even lies. Many now believe that:
“More people have been killed in the name of Jesus Christ than any other name in the history of the world,” author Gore Vidal said. Christianity condoned slavery. Christianity fostered Hitler. Christianity oppressed science (remember Galileo). And so on … and on.
For the truth about Adolf Hitler, there are many sources, but reading about Dietrich Bonhoeffer who was martyred for his stand against Hitler is one way to learn what actually happened.
During this week and this period of Thanksgiving, most of us will be busy with the holiday season and the preparation of food. Hopefully we can truly take time to reflect on our nations history. Even with the trouble we are in today as many are creating chaos in our cities and more and more corruption is being found in our leaders, we still have much for which we should be thankful.
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If we focus on what we have and the One who provides it, the God of heaven will be up-lifted in our hearts and in our country:
Behold, I AM the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me? Jeremiah 32:27