Wednesday, November 26, 2008
(This post is a reprint of one which ran November 19, 2007.)
The seasons have changed, the nights have cooled and the harvest moon is now history. This means the advent of America’s truly unique holiday—Thanksgiving. I say unique because, except for Canada’s watered down version, no other country gives much time to the ritual of Thanksgiving. It is strictly a New World occasion and I welcome it. It is an occasion to take time for reflection on that which stimulates our gratitude.
As Christians, we have no difficulty figuring out the proper Recipient of our outpouring of thanks. God rightfully is the object of our prayers since He has been the provider of all which have come to rely upon and enjoy. Unlike our ancestors, our bare survival is rarely mentioned in our prayers. Our offerings often make more reference to the groaning board at which we sit than appreciation of just keeping alive. Oh certainly we acknowledge the welcome presence of far-flung relation and other visitors and in addition to thanks we pray for their safety in their travels to and from our homes. This is as it should be, since their visit is welcomed and we enjoy seeing the family unit complete. Don’t read any criticism of the holiday in these words even if I express the need to expand our inventory of constant gifts from our Creator.
We, as residents of the United States, are and have been the recipients of the greatest God given document in the world. It is by virtue of the U.S. Constitution and the resulting government system; we can enjoy that which we treasure in our life. We tend to forget that France’s, Germany’s, Italy’s and Spain’s systems of government come nowhere close to equaling our constitution’s durability. In fact, their combined longevity comes no where close to ours. We often make the mistake of considering 1000 year old castles, towers, and bridges in foreign countries as indicators of their political stability. There is no relationship between these artifacts and successful government. Lacking this holy document, and its emphasis on human liberty, they cannot enjoy the nation state status of America.
Issues with a moral focus—drug control, abortion, gay relations, etc.—are ignored in an effort to remove the governing bodies further and further from the governed in ancestral Europe. There would have been no way for Eastern Europe to have suffered forty plus years of the Cold War if their system had been formed by God. Genocide, abuse, and deprivation of human rights are the product of systems not enjoying God’s guiding hand.
This great country is accused of every vile crime in the book but other countries manage to welcome our military to assist in disaster relief whether its source is nature or tin horn dictators. Foreign cemeteries are filled with liberty loving youth from our country who felt the call to liberate the oppressed. My only solace when I think of them is to realize they are now in the bosom of the Lord.
We are constantly reminded by the ACLU and other lunatics of the so called “separation of church and state.” Despite the fact it is nowhere mentioned in the constitution or other statute, they continue the fiction that separation of church and state actually exists. As we read the words of the founding fathers and subsequent leaders we discover a continuing dependence on Almighty God for direction and guidance. During the course of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln gave the flowing prayer to our Heavenly Father.
“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 foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, 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. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship; the axe had enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well 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 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 solemnly, reverently 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 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.”
President Lincoln leaves little else to say. Enjoy the holiday. Enjoy the blessings of liberty. Praise our kind and loving God. Please pass the sweet potatoes.
In His abiding love,
Posted by One of the Moons at 7:55 AM