USA Annual National Thanksgiving Day

Matthew 15:36 in speaking of Jesus says:

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“And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.”

So should leadership at all levels do!

As Hebrews 13:15 says:

“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.”

Let us as a nation not forget the basic purpose of the day as it relates to God and our individual and collective relationships to God today more so than to those of yesteryear.

Each year, the United States of America as a nation sets aside the fourth Thursday in November to render Thanksgiving to God for his abundant mercy and blessing (e.g., victory, protection, prosperity, sufficiency, hope) of the nation, to pray for forgiveness of the nation’s transgressions, and to exhort the nation to service to God…

Do you think the original National Thanksgiving Day was about the Pilgrims and Indians, Well, it was not. The association of the Pilgrims, Indians, and American war the Indians with the National Day is a corruption and convolution of historical events.

In the text of the first national proclamation the absence of any explicit mention of the Pilgrims is noteworthy. This omission is seemingly intentional as the celebration was not intended to be about the Pilgrims at Plymouth but about a continually thankful nation that recognizes the sovereignty of God and national submission to God. I mention this concerning the Pilgrims since some take issue with the Pilgrims later treatment of the Indians. As the early founders concluded it is neither necessary nor beneficial to tie the early Pilgrims to the National Day of Thanksgiving. This means the day is proper and biblical despite any negative American history. Indeed, we as individuals have negative history, yet we are called to be thankful.

Reportedly, the first Thanksgiving celebration established by Congress was in November 1777 for a day of “Thanksgiving and Praise” to take place on December 18, 1777.

The 1777 announcement was seemingly in the form of a request by Congress to the states. It seemingly was not a Federal level proclamation.

It was also announced in the form of a General Order by President George Washington to emphasize its importance to the defense of this nation. The military orientation was out of thankfulness for victory on the battlefield. The words of that General Order may be found at Library of Congress

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The first national proclamation for a National Day of Thanksgiving was issued by President Washington October 3, 1789 for a day of celebration on November 26, 1789.

In the text, notice the emphasis on thanking God for the nation. Notice the recognition that the nation has transgressed and therefore notice the prayer for forgiveness of the nation and therefore its people, individually and collectively. In the text the absence of any explicit mention of the Pilgrims is noteworthy as the celebration was not intended to be about them but about continually thankful nation that recognizes the sovereignty of God and national submission to God.

The text of the first national proclamation may be found at

National Archives . Insight into the process of approval may be found at Library of Congress.

 

President Abraham Lincoln continued the spirit of President Washington’s proclamation. He issued a proclamation in 1863 for a National Thanksgiving Day. He also did not mention the Pilgrims and Indians.

Unfortunately as is the case with modern humans our education system has corrupted and convoluted historical events.

Consequently some Presidents have included references to the Pilgrims and Indians where none was originally intended.

 

Such is the case with President Obama’s 2016 Proclamation and the 
2018 Proclamation by President Trump
.

Yet, even if the Pilgrim celebration of 1621 is mentioned in a proclamation or elsewhere it does not celebrate the killing of Indians as there is no evidence that any killing took place at or was at that time associated with killing of any Indians.

Yet, if such an association was made in 1621 and the Indians were enemies of the Pilgrims one should remember that God told the Isralites to destroy their enemies. It would not be for you or I to know for certain if that was the case in 1621 if it had happened that way. I say if since there is no clearn evidence that the 1621 celebration involved killing Native Americans.

So if you choose to make thanksgiving about the Pilgrims and Indians, that is your choice.

I celebrate it to be about what President George Washington says it is about. That is my choice.

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