By Ralph & Elizabeth Pyszkowski
Thanksgiving celebrations have been an American tradition ever since the pilgrims landed on the shores of Massachusetts. For many years, they have been an important part of our Christian heritage. Many government leaders have called for fellow citizens to seek God for his peace upon the nation and to thank him for his blessings. In 1864, it was proclaimed a national day of Thanksgiving and praise to Almighty God by President Abraham Lincoln. This custom has continued to the present although it has lost some of its religious significance. However, the original purpose of President Lincoln’s proclamation can restore our nation again.
This momentous decree was given at the height of the Civil War and helped to provide guidance to the country. The nation was divided between the north and the south and was facing a major crisis. The former President instructed America to humble themselves and offer fervent prayers for peace, union, and harmony throughout the land. Also within this historic text, Abraham Lincoln gives God credit for progress in the war and thanks for his abundant blessings. One of the greatest leaders in history achieved victory in the war, ended slavery, and put the country back on track to unity and prosperity. His greatest weapons were his humility and the faith of the American people.
Today our nation is facing multiple crises and is divided along political lines with rising racial tensions. We must remember Lincoln’s example and seek God in humility. Christ alone can bring victory over our enemies, a solution to our complex problems, and peace and unity within our borders. The same Lord who provided in our past can do so in our future. We must remember where our blessings come from and give the thanks due his name. He freely gives mercy, salvation, healing, and provides all of our needs. Whether we are in the best of times, or the worst of times, He is good all the time. Our longstanding tradition is found in 1 Thessalonians 5:18: “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
(Ralph & Elizabeth Pyszkowski, Your Brother & Sister In Christ. All comments are welcomed at [email protected])