Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanksgiving Day

"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 next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens." --Abraham Lincoln

On this day of Thanksgiving, let us not forget to Whom our thanks belong.

A few years ago, I saw an episode of the now defunct Roseanne Barr television program that had Thanksgiving Day as it's theme. In it, Roseanne traveled back in time, via a dream sequence, to visit the first Thanksgiving.

When she learned first hand of the Pilgrim's lifestyle, she immediately began the task of bringing the Pilgrims into the 20th century by educatiing them on important matters such as modern feminism and a more modern attitude about sex. The program was so utterly disgusting I could not finish watching.

I do remember one line though. It haunts me to this day: "Why would you want to give thanks to some old guy sitting up in Heaven somewhere damning everybody?"

In more recent times, I picked up my son's American history textbook and read that Thanksgiving Day is a day set aside for giving thanks.

It did not say to Whom.

This is what Thanksgiving has become for many Americans. It is no longer a day in which we set aside some part of our busy day to reflect on all the things God gave us for which we are thankful.

In America, we have so much to be thankful for. For the most part, even the poorest among us have a roof over our heads, and shoes for our feet, and food in our bellies.

How many other countries around the world can say that? We are truly blessed.

But how long can we remain the most fortunate country on earth? How long will God continue to bless us when we, as a nation, refuse to acknowledge His sovereignty? Is there a limit to God's mercy? And if there is, aren't we coming dangerously close to experiencing God's judgement?

God said, "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14

On this National Day of Thanksgiving, take a few minutes to reflect and ponder on God's infinite grace and mercy, and yes, give thanks.

To God.

And give thanks to our soldiers who are fighting to keep us free, also.


Mike's America said...

Mark: Thanks for that reminder and thank you for all your positive contributions to the many discussions of important issues this past year.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Poison Pero said...

Very well said, Mark........You know I'm not a traditional religious person, but I agree with your take on God being stripped from this great holiday.

We all have so much to be thankful for, and you are exactly correct that starting with God and including the troops is a must.

Thank you for all your kind words Mark.......You are a settling voice in what can be a shrill environment.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...


As you know, I am a heathen. It doesn't mean I don't have a spiritual side; nor do I have an atheistic inflexibility in the possibility that there is a higher being and a higher purpose; that life is more than our flesh and bones and there are mysteries to existence that we cannot fathom.

I have no problem with joining in saying grace at the dinner table and expressing thanks; especially when I am a guest in a Christian household. It's about respect, even if I don't believe.

But I do think you stand to alienate the same people who have a problem with Christmas when you try to make Thanksgiving exclusively Christian. I have no problem with the religiosity of Thanksgiving; but its religious roots should not be a barrier to ALL Americans being able to enjoy this time of the year. So if some Americans think of Thanksgiving as football, feasting, and family and friends...and not of be it. So long as they are expressing the spirit of giving thanks and gratitude toward all that they have in their lives, I think they are celebrating the Holiday in a manner which meets with God's approval. I cannot believe that if there is an Almighty, that He is so vain that He needs "worshippers" and validation on His own existence by followers. I think you honor God more by simply expressing love and thanks for the plentitudes in life; to feel intensely just how lucky we all are to be able to live and breathe; so many people in this world enjoy so much less than what we enjoy out of life. We are all very fortunate for what we have and should realize that for all of our struggles in life, things could always be worse. Our state of well-being in life, is not always a matter of where we are physically on the totem pole, but where we are mentally and spiritually.

Happy Thanksgiving, by the Grace of God!

Mark said...

God is God. He is not only a God for Christians but for all people.

Everything we have and everything we are, we owe to God. Thanksgiving was, is, and always will be a holiday that was set aside to thank God for His benevolent blessings.

No one is obligated to thank God. It is something we should want to do, out of gratefulness for His blessings.

Anonymous said...

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, I am glad you are doing well.

U no who

Mark said...

No, Anon, I have no clue who you are.

Anonymous said...

LOL.........You need to put on your thinking hat for this one

Mark said...

I don't play guessing games

Anonymous said...

Come on Mark who would wan't to wish you a happy Thanksgiving and have a little fun teasing you? Think, think.

KEvron said...

a nat'l holiday is a religious holiday? whoda thunk it?!

so should we atheists just ignore the day?