Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving Thoughts

Ps 107:1 Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Ps 107:8 Let them give thanks to the LORD for His lovingkindness, and for His wonders to the sons of men!
Ps 107:21 Let them give thanks to the LORD for His lovingkindness, and for His wonders to the sons of men!
Ps 107:43 Who is wise? Let him give heed to these things, and consider the lovingkindnesses of the LORD.

Col 3:15-17 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms {and} hymns {and} spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, {do} all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

Edward Winslow, who later became the third governor of Plymouth Colony, wrote one of the two surviving eyewitness accounts of the Harvest Festival of 1621, "And God be praised, we have a good increase . . . . Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling (ie, bird hunting) that so we might after a special manner rejoice together."

A Few Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamations (there are many more than these):

George Washington's 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation:

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me "to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war...

James Madison's 1815 Thanksgiving Proclamation:

The senate and House of Representatives of the United States have by a joint resolution signified their desire that a day may be recommended to be observed by the people of the United States with religious solemnity as a day of thanksgiving and of devout acknowledgments to Almighty God for His great goodness manifested in restoring to them the blessing of peace. No people ought to feel greater obligations to celebrate the goodness of the Great Disposer of Events of the Destiny of Nations than the people of the United States. His kind providence originally conducted them to one of the best portions of the dwelling place allotted for the great family of the human race. He protected and cherished them under all the difficulties and trials to which they were exposed in their early days. Under His fostering care their habits, their sentiments, and their pursuits prepared them for a transition in due time to a state of
independence and self-government. In the arduous struggle by which it was attained they were distinguished by multiplied tokens of His benign interposition. . .

Abraham Lincoln's 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.

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.