It’s Thanksgiving weekend up here in Canada and I’ve been thinking about the ones who created the celebration that we continue today. The proclamation of William Bradford in 1623 says:
Inasmuch as the great Father has given us this year an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, peas, squashes and garden vegetables, and made the forest to abound with game and the sea with fish and clams, and inasmuch as he has protected us from the ravages of the savages, has spared us from the pestilence and granted us freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience, now I, your magistrate do proclaim that all ye Pilgrims, with your wives and ye little ones, do gather at ye meeting house, on ye hill, between the hours of nine and twelve in the daytime on Thursday, November ye 29th, of the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred twenty-three, and the third year since ye Pilgrims landed on ye Plymouth Rock, there to listen to ye Pastor and render Thanksgiving to ye Almighty God for all his blessings.*
In contrast, I think about us, nearly 400 years later. As a society we’re “smarter” now, and independent, so instead of attributing an abundant harvest to the great Father, we congratulate farmers for their wisdom and hard work, and the agricultural scientists for developing the best seeds and fertilizer. If the forest abounds with game, and the sea with fish, we marvel at the balance of ecology (Mother Nature), and appreciate the biologist and oceanographer that are probably behind this good fortune.
If we’ve been protected from an enemy or from government oppression, we either feel grateful toward our Armed Forces, or we take for granted that we’re safe and free to worship (or not worship) as we please. After all, we pay plenty of tax dollars, so we’d better be safe and free. If we’re healthy, we thank our doctor, pharmacist, naturopath or nutritionist for sparing us from the pestilence.
And we absolutely should be grateful, and should thank all these people. But let us ultimately thank the Giver of all these people and blessings, the One who gives our society life and breath, strength and wisdom. Let’s remember that every good thing really does come from above.
“He gives to all life, breath, and all things.” Acts 17:25
*From Of Plimouth Plantation by William Bradford, written 1647, quoted on page 66 of America's God and Country: Encyclopedia of Quotations by William Joseph Federer
Posted by Ramona