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Pastor Nancy's Blog

Next week is the annual time of thanksgiving in our nation, a time in which we recognize and give thanks to God for the Blessings of our lives.   Over the centuries the President of the United States has often made a Proclamation establishing the national holiday. These documents have usually recognized the particular issues of the nation in that year and are often very eloquent. So I offer one of these proclamations which has meant much to me; and which we have often read as a part of our Thanksgiving celebration. This one is the Proclamation by Abraham Lincoln in 1863.

 

It is the duty of nations as well as of men to owe their dependence on the overruling power of God; to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is the Lord.

 

May we not justly fear that the awful calamity of the Civil war which now desolates the land may be a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins; to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people?

 

We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.

 

It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people.

 

I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November as a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our Beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.

 

Given under my hand in this year of our Lord, November, 1863,

A Lincoln

 

I wish many blessings to each of you and those you love for the celebration of a hopeful and happy Thanksgiving this year of 2023!

 

Nancy Becker

Parish Associate

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