Sometimes, the words do not come to me for this blog.
And that’s okay, because sometimes my words are not the best words.
As I sat down to write this, I searched through various Thanksgiving messages from Charles Spurgeon, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Charles Pugh and many, many Thanksgiving prayers by anonymous authors, searching for the one that seemed “right.”
Then, I came across this page:
http://www.pilgrimhallmuseum.org/thanksgiving_proclamations.htm which lists hundreds of Thanksgiving proclamations from 1723 to present.
Now, I cannot say I read every one of them, but it’s pretty clear that claiming we are not a Christian nation cannot be supported on the basis of what is contained on that page. Our thanks and praise have been directed to the great I AM since the foundations of this country.
And yes, one of those proclamations stuck out from the rest.
There is a prayer in the middle of FDR’s 1940 Thanksgiving Day proclamation that is just as apt today as it was 75 years ago:
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - A PROCLAMATION I, FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate Thursday, the twenty-first day of November 1940, to be observed nationally as a day of thanksgiving. In a year which has seen calamity and sorrow fall upon many peoples elsewhere in the world may we give thanks for our preservation. On the same day, in the same hour, let us pray:
Almighty God, who hast given us this good land for our heritage; We humbly beseech Thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of Thy favor and glad to do Thy will. Bless our land with honourable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogancy, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in Thy Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to Thy law, we may show forth Thy praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in Thee to fail; Amen.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States of America to be affixed. DONE at the City of Washington this 9th day of November, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and forty, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and sixty-fifth. FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.