Thursday, November 26, 2009

Not "Turkey Day"

It is about as idyllic a Thanksgiving morning as I could hope for.

The smell of turkey already permeates the air as our bird roasts in the oven. The

A Thanksgiving turkey that had been soaked for...Image via Wikipedia

dressing and Spinach Madelaine are both in the refrigerator waiting to take their turn in the oven. A gallon and a half of the world's best sweet tea (Yes, Jay, I actually had the nerve to put that in print!) waits in there with them.

I am nestled warm under the covers in my bed and it is chilly in the house. We have been blessed with a rare occasion here along the Gulf Coast: a holiday that feels like a holiday. At 40° right now, this is perfect Thanksgiving weather for us. Often on our Thanksgiving and Christmas, we can wear shorts and t-shirts. It's nice to know a sweater or jacket is required on a holiday.

It is a day for which to truly give thanks. It is not just a day to eat turkey and I have to confess, I get quite irritated at hearing people call it "Turkey Day".

Here is part of the actual proclamation for making Thanksgiving a national holiday:

The year that is drawing toward 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 can not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.


No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are 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. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the imposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the

Abraham LincolnImage by Smithsonian Institution via Flickr

nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purpose, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity, and union.
In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this 3d day of October, A.D. 1863, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.

Abraham Lincoln

In reality though, it is almost laughable to think of setting one day to thank the Lord for all He has done for us. If it were not for Him, we would not have even our next breath.

He keeps the planets in rotation, He keeps the sun a combustible fire-ball, He maintains the very air we breathe with 21% oxygen. Then there are the thousands upon thousands of personal things for which we each have to thank Him.

If we were to begin today and no do nothing else throughout the rest of our lives, we could never thank Him for everything He has done for us, provided for us, been for us in our lives.

This God who "delighteth in mercy" and loves us more than we can ever imagine, this God to whom we owe every breath we have ever taken and every beat of our heart...He is worthy of all thanksgiving.

"Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift." (2 Corinthians 9:15)

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