Faith, joy, love, family and fellowship are hallmark to this season of thankfulness. When things are shaken, these priceless blessings infuse our soul with gladness. We truly have so much to be thankful for.
This great American tradition began in 1621 in Plymouth, Massachusetts when the pilgrims and Native Americans shared a feast as a means to cultivate relationship and explore the tremendous opportunity in the New World. It was an effort to find common ground, build trust and forge a path forward together.
In 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving Day would become a national holiday in November. He realized in some of the darkest days in American history, that family and fellowship encouraged unity and healing of the nation. He also realized that acknowledging the goodness of almighty God even in the midst of extreme challenges would see Americans through to better days. Following in an excerpt of President Lincoln’s proclamation that reminds us of the heart of the holiday:
“Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do hereby appoint and set apart the last Thursday in November next as a day which I desire to be observed by all my fellow-citizens, wherever they may then be, as a day of thanksgiving and praise to almighty God, the beneficent creator and ruler of the universe. And I do further recommend to my fellow-citizens aforesaid that on that occasion they do reverently humble themselves in the dust and from thence offer up penitent and fervent prayers and supplications to the great disposer of events for a return of the inestimable blessings of peace, union and harmony throughout the land which it has pleased him to assign as a dwelling place for ourselves and for our posterity throughout all generations.”
As we plan and prepare for this special day of Thanksgiving, let us consider those who may need a little extra care or a meal to share. Our nation is facing monumental challenges, but it’s times like these when need to come together in love and compassion for one another. There’s more that unites us than divides us. With God’s help, Americans always come through stronger and better. Let’s give thanks for our countless blessings, and for the assurance of better days ahead.
From my family to yours — Happy Thanksgiving!