Thanksgiving

November 22, 2007 | 3 comments
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The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. The world, and all they that dwell therein.

We have a lot to be thankful for, personally, in families, in our church, and as a nation. The Wall Street Journal likes to remind us how far we’ve come materially since the Puritan days.

Being now passed the vast ocean, and a sea of troubles before them in expectations, they had now no friends to welcome them, no inns to entertain or refresh them, no houses, or much less towns, to repair unto to seek for succour; and for the season it was winter, and they that know the winters of the country know them to be sharp and violent, subject to cruel and fierce storms, dangerous to travel to known places, much more to search unknown coasts.

Besides, what could they see but a hideous and desolate wilderness, full of wilde beasts and wilde men? and what multitudes of them there were, they then knew not: for which way soever they turned their eyes (save upward to Heaven) they could have but little solace or content in respect of any outward object; for summer being ended, all things stand in appearance with a weatherbeaten face, and the whole country, full of woods and thickets, represented a wild and savage hew.

If they looked behind them, there was a mighty ocean which they had passed, and was now as a main bar or gulph to separate them from all the civil parts of the world.

In contrast, the Wall Street Journal can now make a tradition of editorializing each Thanksgiving on our fruitful land.

Today our President asks us to give thanks to God, as Washington did, as Lincoln did, and as every President since has done.

God is the author of our blessings. Against none is his wrath kindled save those who confess not his hand in all things.

P.S. For Thanksgiving links, see here and here. Here’s Norman Rockwell’s Thanksgiving painting, Freedom from Want. And here’s someone I’m thankful for.

3 Responses to Thanksgiving

  1. Brad Kramer on November 22, 2007 at 11:35 am

    I’ve always found the Rockwell painting to be a fascinating image capable of appealing to a wide swath of folks across the American political landscape. Conservatives like the unapologetic appreciation of material abundance, the nostalgic, salt-of-the-earth rendition of home, hearth, and family as concrete examples of what we fought for in the war against totalitarianism. Whereas the idea that abstract freedoms and civil rights mean little to those without material sustenance and the duty of government to protect and ensure a minimal degree of the latter as a precondition to the former is something liberals can get behind.

    The relatively un-politicized status of Thanksgiving (which will shortly vanish in the histrionic rhetoric of the Christmas/Culture-War), along with the wonderful principle it commemorates (plus the fact that making Thanksgiving dinner is one of the things I look forward to most all year) makes this my mostest favoritest holiday.

  2. Carol F. on November 23, 2007 at 10:51 pm

    Great post. I LOVE Thanksgiving! It is my favorite holiday, too, for the same reasons that Brad gave. I feel like this is the least manipulated holiday, where the original intent and the current intent are still pretty much the same. Even Christian-haters can’t touch this holiday. I am not expected to do much except prepare good food and to contemplate my many blessings.

  3. Janet on November 23, 2007 at 11:58 pm

    This is the best Thanksgiving I’ve had in years, mostly because my husband and I finally have become a trio (even if the third member does lunge at the feast and scatter cranberry stains asunder) but also because an old man I’d never met before told us a story about how he woke from a coma on Thanksgiving in 1942, four days after being pummeled by a truck while working his paper route. For some reason his recitation of the general holiday’s personal relevance got me all misty-eyed: I could only imagine his parents joy when the doctors’ prediction than he’d either die or be a vegetable turned out wrong. He calls Thanksgiving “Thankful to be alive day.” I concur.

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