"A Day of Thanksgiving"greenspun.com : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread
Deut.8  "All the commandment which I command you this day you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD swore to give to your fathers.  And you shall remember all the way which the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments, or not.  And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know; that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but that man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD.  Your clothing did not wear out upon you, and your foot did not swell, these forty years.  Know then in your heart that, as a man disciplines his son, the LORD your God disciplines you.  So you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God, by walking in his ways and by fearing him.  For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing forth in valleys and hills,  a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey,  a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper.  And you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land he has given you.  "Take heed lest you forget the LORD your God, by not keeping his commandments and his ordinances and his statutes, which I command you this day:  lest, when you have eaten and are full, and have built goodly houses and live in them,  and when your herds and flocks multiply, and your silver and gold is multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied,  then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage,  who led you through the great and terrible wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water, who brought you water out of the flinty rock,  who fed you in the wilderness with manna which your fathers did not know, that he might humble you and test you, to do you good in the end.  Beware lest you say in your heart, `My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.'  You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth; that he may confirm his covenant which he swore to your fathers, as at this day.  And if you forget the LORD your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you this day that you shall surely perish.  Like the nations that the LORD makes to perish before you, so shall you perish, because you would not obey the voice of the LORD your God. ___________________________________________________________________ Abraham Lincoln's 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation The year that is drawing towards its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to invite and provoke the aggression of foreign states, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict, while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. The needful diversion of wealth and strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense has not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship. The axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well as of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect a continuance of years, with large increase of freedom.
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 reverently, solemnly, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and 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 prayer 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 divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity, and union.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the city of Washington, this third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.
(signed) Abraham Lincoln. __________________________________________________________________
All this is to say that our government as far back as 1863 has given us a holiday solely to thank God for our blessings. We should humble ourselves and give Him all the thanks and praise. Sometimes in all the hustle and bustle we forget the real meaning of the holiday. Happy Thanksgiving to all those on this board.
-- Anonymous, November 26, 2003