I love Thanksgiving.
I’m a little biased, because I am an American and it is the most American of holidays. As much as the Fourth of July.
I’m also a little biased because I love being with family. And I’m quite fond of turkey, mashed potatoes, roasted yams,and bread stuffing.
But I love the tradition far more because it is something that can be meaningful to anyone, anywhere, at any time.
At a national level, the tradition began as early as 1789, when George Washington proclaimed a day of thanksgiving:
it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor… [it is] a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God… That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks–for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country… And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions– to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctuall
But it was Lincoln’s 1863 proclamation that stuck and that speaks more clearly to the heart of why each of us should feel thankful:
The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.
Blessings big and small. Blessings deep and wide.
We all need time to stop and count our blessings. Some of them have been rather large – maybe new relationships, new work, a baby, a raise, a friendship restored. But most often go unnoticed – our family, friends, food, homes, and the wonderful world in which we live.
Paul writes, “whatever is worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on it.” Few things are more worthy to dwell on than those things for which we are most grateful.
承認全能上帝的旨意是所有國家的責任，順服祂的計畫，感謝祂的好處，虛心祈求祂的保護和恩惠… [這是] ⼀個公開感恩和祈禱的日子，以感恩的心承認全能上帝所行的許多恩惠…這樣我們就可以團結一致，向祂表達我們誠摯而謙卑的感謝–為著祂的善意關懷和保護這個國家的人民……並且我們可以團結一切的禱告，以最謙卑的方式向偉大的主和萬國統治者祈求，懇求祂赦免我們國家和其他的罪–使我們所有人在公共或私人的位置上，都能適當、準時地履行多項職責。