Thanksgiving Day 2013

ThanksgivingDay2013On behalf of my family and myself, we extend to you our wishes and prayers for a blessed Thanksgiving Day! Together may we give true thanks to our faithful God and Father Who has richly “blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Eph.1:3) and Who has given “us richly all things to enjoy” (1 Tim.6:17).

“Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits…” (Psalm 103:1,2

May we also remember our confession concerning our heavenly Father in the Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 10:

  • Q. 27.  What dost thou mean by the providence of God?
    A.  The almighty and everywhere present power of God,1 whereby, as it were by His hand, He upholds and governs heaven, earth, and all creatures;2 so that herbs and grass, rain and drought,3 fruitful and barren years, meat and drink,4 health and sickness,5riches and poverty,6 yea, and all things come, not by chance, but by His fatherly hand.7
  • Q. 28.  What advantage is it to us to know that God has created, and by His providence doth still uphold all things?
    A.  That we may be patient in adversity;8 thankful in prosperity;9 and that in all things which may hereafter befall us, we place our firm trust in our faithful God and Father,10 that nothing shall separate us from His love;11 since all creatures are so in His hand, that without His will they cannot so much as move.12
  1. Acts 17:25-28.
  2. Heb. 1:3.
  3. Jer. 5:24.
  4. Acts 14:17.
  5. John 9:3.
  6. Prov. 22:2Job 1:21.
  7. Mat. 10:2930Eph. 1:11.
  8. Rom. 5:3Psa. 39:9.
  9. Deut. 8:101 Thes. 5:18.
  10. Rom. 5:3-6.
  11. Rom. 8:3839.
  12. Job 1:12Job 2:6Mat. 8:31Isa. 10:15.

And, finally, because this is a national day of Thanksgiving, it is good to reflect on its historical significance too, as reflected in this proclamation of our first president:

Issued by President George Washington, at the request of Congress, on October 3, 1789
 

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas 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; and—Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; 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 previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favor, able interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

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 trangressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.