Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thankgiving!

Last year about this time I posted a story - Did I Miss Something? - about a store setting up Christmas displays right after Halloween. The Grinch had stolen Thankgiving was my complaint.

This year I do see a bit more Thanksgiving displays so I guess some of the 'suits' in Corporate America took my posting to heart.

The first Thanksgiving was held in a time far different from ours. There were no frozen turkeys or catered meals. The Pilgrims had landed at Plymouth Rock, far from their intended destination, and had to carve out a livelyhood in a wilderness that was unfriendly to humans. As William Bradford wrote about the landing, "they had now no friends to welcome them, nor inns to entertain or refresh their weather-beaten bodies, no houses or much less towns to repair to, to seek for succor."

They did have God on their side and He provided.

Bradford wrote,

The First Thanksgiving Proclamation

June 20, 1676

"The Holy God having by a long and Continual Series of his Afflictive dispensations in and by the present Warr with the Heathen Natives of this land, written and brought to pass bitter things against his own Covenant people in this wilderness, yet so that we evidently discern that in the midst of his judgements he hath remembered mercy, having remembered his Footstool in the day of his sore displeasure against us for our sins, with many singular Intimations of his Fatherly Compassion, and regard; reserving many of our Towns from Desolation Threatened, and attempted by the Enemy, and giving us especially of late with many of our Confederates many signal Advantages against them, without such Disadvantage to ourselves as formerly we have been sensible of, if it be the Lord's mercy that we are not consumed, It certainly bespeaks our positive Thankfulness, when our Enemies are in any measure disappointed or destroyed; and fearing the Lord should take notice under so many Intimations of his returning mercy, we should be found an Insensible people, as not standing before Him with Thanksgiving, as well as lading him with our Complaints in the time of pressing Afflictions:

The Council has thought meet to appoint and set apart the 29th day of this instant June, as a day of Solemn Thanksgiving and praise to God for such his Goodness and Favour, many Particulars of which mercy might be Instanced, but we doubt not those who are sensible of God's Afflictions, have been as diligent to espy him returning to us; and that the Lord may behold us as a People offering Praise and thereby glorifying Him; the Council doth commend it to the Respective Ministers, Elders and people of this Jurisdiction; Solemnly and seriously to keep the same Beseeching that being perswaded by the mercies of God we may all, even this whole people offer up our bodies and soulds as a living and acceptable Service unto God by Jesus Christ."

prying1 sez: Here is a handy recipe: Combine liberal amounts of prayer and thankgiving and you will have an extremely joyous and peace filled holiday.


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