Posted on | November 22, 2012 | 29 Comments
Last night at church we reviewed Lincoln’s 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation. Those who wish to “bicker and argue over who killed who” in the recent election may benefit from a stroll in Lincoln’s boots, as he hoists himself from seemingly overwhelming carnage in the Civil War (north of 45k Americans killed/wounded/missing at Gettysburg alone that year) to speak of the bigger picture, from which vantage he can say:
I do, therefore, invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning 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 interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation, and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.
“Humble penitence” is an attitude which we’ll do well to rediscover, and it may be that we’ve just the sort of economic program in place to bring about the occasion. Nevertheless, not the lack of finger-pointing afoot in Linconln’s words. As with Psalm 51, “perverseness and disobedience” is better discussed in the vertical direction, where one is less able to shift attention from one’s own contributions. As we seek to mend a divided nation, a thankful, forgiving approach is key to bringing the hordes of Prodigals home.
And, for all that, don’t forget to score you some flesh:
I’m giving Thanx in my ambush tree with my bow&arrows for som pure haunch shank slabbage venison
— Ted Nugent (@TedNugent) November 22, 2012
This post motivated by Hayward.