Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song. – Psalm 95:1-2 (NIV)
The modern traditions of Thanksgiving – food, football, and family festivities – so often overshadow the circumstances which gave birth to this national holiday in 1863. Amidst a terrible civil war, Americans were encouraged to give thanks for every blessing even amid great sadness, suffering, strife.
The proclamation signed by President Lincoln says, “I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States… to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”
It further states that we “fervently implore…the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.” May this be our Thanksgiving prayer still. We need harmony and healing as much today as then.
- Sue Breland, Worship for One