Happy Thanksgiving! If you don’t read this until after Thursday then belated Happy Thanksgiving! A bit of a history lesson here: George Washington, our first president, in 1789 called for an official celebratory “day of public thanksgiving and prayer.” While Congress overwhelmingly agreed to Washington’s suggestion, the holiday did not officially become an annual event.
In a speech delivered October 3, 1863 President Abraham Lincoln, expressing gratitude for a pivotal Union Army victory at Gettysburg, announced that the nation would celebrate a day of Thanksgiving on November 26, 1863. And, the fourth Thursday of every November thereafter would be considered an official U.S. holiday of Thanksgiving.
While Lincoln’s motivation for a holiday in 1863 may not have sat well with southerners at the time, if we go back to Washington’s original intent in 1789 we find what today should be about for all of us. By calling for a day of “public thanksgiving and prayer” Washington was acknowledging the divine blessings poured out on this nation, and the need to continue to seek God’s favor.
Let’s be clear, God doesn’t love America more than other nations. He loves the people of Rwanda, Indonesia, France, and everywhere else just as much. But despite historical revisionists attempts to write God out of our nation’s history, we are a nation founded by men who understood that the concepts of liberty, and freedom, and justice for all are God-given, not man-made.
Because our forefathers understood that, and founded this nation on those truths, God has blessed this nation in a remarkable way. Those of us who recognize that truth not only have much to be thankful for, we know Whom we should thank.
For most people what they are most thankful for is that tomorrow is Black Friday and they can get up before the sun and go save a hundred bucks on a TV, or whatever all else we can buy. Thanksgiving has gotten lost somewhere between the stuffing on our tables and the stuff on our shopping list.
Come to think of it though that’s a great reason to be thankful. I’m not referring to the madness of America’s Black Friday, but to the greatness of the world’s Black Friday. You see, two thousand years ago on hill called Calvary the Savior of the world died on the original Black Friday. It was both literally and figuratively black. The sky turned dark as midnight as the Father turned away as the Son paid the sin-debt for the entire world. And the disciples thought all hope was lost. It truly was Black Friday.
But the disciples were wrong. Hope wasn’t lost in the blackness of that Friday. Hope was actually born for all of us. They’d have to wait three days to realize it, but it was worth the wait. Now there’s a reason to be thankful.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. (Psalm 100:4)
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.