Every week our Pastor writes an article and sends it to the congregation. It's on all kinds of topics, this week was the history of Thanksgiving. The entire article should be available on our church's website soon, I'll post a link when it's there!
Here is just a small part of it, but I thought it particularly meaningful today. What a heritage we have in this country of Godly leadership! Something to pray for in the years to come.
On November 29, 1623 three years after their [the Pilgrims' ] arrival and two years after the first Thanksgiving, Governor William Bradford made an official proclamation of a day of thanksgiving.
“To all Pilgrims: Inasmuch as the great Father has given us this year an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, peas, beans, squashes and garden vegetable and has made the forest abound with game and the sea with fish and clams, and inasmuch as He has protected us from the ravages of the savages, has spared us from pestilence and disease, has granted us freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience, now I, your magistrate, do proclaim that all Pilgrims with your wives and little ones, do gather at the meeting house on the hill between the hours of 9 and 12 in the daytime on Thursday, November 29 in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and twenty three, in the third year since the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock there to listen to the pastor and render thanksgiving to Almighty God for all His blessings. William Bradford, Governor of the Colony”
On October 3, 1863 President Abraham Lincoln issued a formal proclamation, passed by an Act of Congress, initiating the first annual National Day of Thanksgiving. Part of what Lincoln said is as follows: “We give thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwells in the heavens….it is announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is the Lord….It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people.”