CORDER: America’s founders understood to whom we rightfully give thanks | Mississippi News

Today, many Americans have, sadly, lost this foundation upon which to give true, heartfelt thanks at Thanksgiving.

Once again, we pause to reflect and give thanks on this, second, Thanksgiving Day – a uniquely American holiday.

If we are to properly “give thanks” on this day, there must be a recipient of our gratitude, a person to whom we show appreciation for our blessings.

As our early founders proclaimed, the worthy recipient is God, the Almighty who has shown grace and mercy to our land and our fellow man.

That truth was on full display when Continental Congress President John Henson issued the first proclamation declaring the fourth Thursday of November as Thanksgiving Day in 1782 under the Articles of Confederation after the American Revolution.

Henson’s Declaration declared:


“It is the indispensable duty of all nations, not only to offer up their supplications to Almighty God, the Giver of all good, for his gracious assistance in times of distress, but also solemnly and publicly, to praise him. For his goodness in general, and especially for his providence on their behalf. For a great and signal interposition; therefore, the United States in Congress assembled, considering the many instances of divine goodness to these states during the important conflict in which they had long been engaged, the present happy and hopeful state of public affairs, and the events of the war during the year now approaching. has been; especially the harmony of public councils which is so essential to the success of the public cause, the perfect union and good understanding which has hitherto subsisted between them and their allies, notwithstanding the artful and clumsy efforts of the common enemy to divide them, the United States and their The success of the arms of the allies, and the acceptance of their independence by another European power, whose friendship and commerce must be of great and permanent advantage to these states; hence the general Recommending to the inhabitants of these states, to request the several states to intervene in their power, to appoint and order Thursday the twenty-eighth day of November next, as a day of solemn thanksgiving to God for all his mercies; And they further recommend to all ranks that they testify their gratitude to the goodness of God by a cheerful obedience to his laws, and to each in his place, and by his influence, by the practice of true and blameless religion, which is great. the foundation of public prosperity and national happiness.”

George Washington would later declare the observance of Thanksgiving as the first President of the United States of America in 1789.

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What we see in Henson’s words is the realization that you cannot truly be grateful for something you are entitled to or have no sense that it will one day disappear.

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Sincere gratitude is the result of losses suffered, hardships overcome, and a real understanding that today’s blessings, in a fallen world, are ultimately not of your own making, but the gracious hand of the Almighty working in your life whether we live in full knowledge of His work or not.

America’s founders keenly understood these truths. They lived and breathed it. They fought and died for them.

Today, many Americans, sadly, have lost this foundation upon which to offer genuine, heartfelt thanks to the Almighty because the appearance of being thankful looks outside of oneself, an action that runs counter to the narrative preached by many leaders in education and politics in our contemporary culture. . .

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However, to authentically experience gratitude in our hearts we must recognize that someone outside of us has enabled us to count our blessings, that we can count our blessings, our hope and faith in the One Being, above all else. is Who is working in every step of every moment of our lives even when the days are darkest.

It is in this realization that we see the author of our faith writing on our souls, allowing us to truly thank God, our Sustainer and Deliverer, in this present life.

Yes, there is always something to complain about. Likewise, there is always something to be thankful for. It is your choice.

May your choice today be one that gives thanks to God as our founders did 240 years ago, and may your day live in the blessings He bestows as you spend time with family and friends.

Happy Thanksgiving, Mississippi!


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