I very much want to celebrate Thanksgiving before jumping over to Christmas. I understand those of you who have already moved to Christmas scents, music, and beverages. I get the idea that every day should be a day to give thanks.
But then I read the procalamation reminding us of the true source of Thanksgiving… and I made my own declaration to revel in THIS holiday before embracing the next. I want to share it with you today. I had never read it before, but now it sits freshly typed in a pretty font on my fridge. I’m hoping to read it each day- and if I can finagle it, to have it read each year on the day of Thanksgiving.
Sit down and read this one slowly… and give thanks!
Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation
It is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon 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.
We know that by His divine law, nations, like individuals, are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world. May we not justly fear that awful calamity of 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 our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.
Abraham Lincoln – October 3, 1863
Following and giving thanks,