Thanksgiving tradition says that the first day of Thanksgiving was when the Pilgrims came together to give thanks to God for the bountiful harvest of 1621. The colonists, according to tradition, celebrated with a Thanksgiving feast, also attended by 91 Indians who helped them through their first year.
Two years later, the colonists gathered during a severe drought to pray for rain. When it rained the very next day, Gov. William Bradford called for another day of Thanksgiving. Thereafter, there were numerous calls for national days of Thanksgiving. Following our miraculous victory in the Revolutionary War, George Washington proclaimed the first national day of Thanksgiving in 1789.
It wasn’t until 1863 that President Lincoln officially designated the last Thursday in November as a national day of Thanksgiving. It took almost a hundred more years before Thanksgiving was declared a national holiday by an Act of Congress in 1941.
Sixty-five years later, the holiday remains a reminder of America’s rich and undeniable Christian heritage, even though the One to Whom the holiday is dedicated is now legally persona non grata at the celebration.
To most Americans, Thanksgiving Day is “Turkey Day” and Thanksgiving celebrations are more about football, parades and huge family feasts than they are about reflecting on the blessings extended America by the protective Hand of a sovereign God.
Sadly, one can almost chart the gradual withdrawal of that protective Hand as America’s Thanksgiving celebration revolves more around the turkey dinner than the Creator that spoke it into existence. This year, as I reflect on our remaining blessings, I mourn those blessings that are systematically being withdrawn by a God-hating few in this country.
Writing of the declining social morality of the last days, the Apostle Paul wrote what could have been a critique on the United Nations, saying:
“Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, He gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.” (Romans 1:28-31 NIV)
And Paul could just as easily have been describing the U.S. Congress when he wrote the following warning to Timothy:
“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. (The KJV renders it ‘perilous times’) People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without natural affection, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God – having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
America’s domestic tranquility is being severely tested. America’s international standing has never been lower. Enemies beset us on all sides. Our continued survival as a nation is in greater doubt than at any time in our country’s history. We are facing nuclear threats on several fronts, and our government is divided over whether or not we are truly at war. Even more perilous, we don’t even know with whom we are at war.
Jesus may not set Foot in the White House, but Allah has an open-door policy.
The present false separation of church and state issues keep the only true God at arm’s length, even as we ignorantly celebrate the day our forefathers drew aside to give him thanks. It is an outrage that these same “issues” don’t present any barriers to Ramadan being celebrated at the White House while the president proclaims Islam a “legitimate global religion based on peace and love.”
As for me, I give thanks that God has not yet completely closed the window of blessing on America and unleashed His Judgment on it. We remain the most prosperous and healthy nation on earth. We still enjoy greater freedoms than any other nation, and, despite the concerted efforts of the leftists in the media and government, America still has a Christian majority – even though the majority are timidly silent.
More than anything else this Thanksgiving, I am thankful that America still has time to claim the promise of God: “If My people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV)
And I give thanks for all those that will join me in claiming the above promise while there is still time.
Last but not least, I am thankful that God has allowed me to live to give Him thanks on this Thanksgiving Day, which is my 77th birthday.
May you and your family’s Thanksgiving be filled with praise to the only true God, the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ – and not just filled with turkey.
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