At this time of the year and the state of the Union it would be beneficial to know what took place on September 25, 1789, when the very first federal Congress had just finished framing the Bill of Rights – the Capstone of the Constitution.
Mr. Elias Boudinot called for an opportunity for all U.S. citizens to join in one voice to offer sincere thanks to Almighty God for the many blessings given to them. He thus made the following resolution quoted in part below:
“Resolved, that a joint committee of both Houses be directed to wait upon the President of the United States to request that he would 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 signal favors of Almighty God . . . .”
As a result, President George Washington issued the following proclamation for a Day of Prayer and Thanksgiving:
“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. . . Now, therefore, I do recommend. . . that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks or His kind care and protection of the people of this country . . . . 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 transgressions . . . to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue.” (The Founders Bible p. 655-6)
It is important to notice that it mentions nations – not just individuals. Four duties are given: (1) to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, (2) to obey His will. (3) to be grateful for His benefits, and (4) humbly to implore His protection and favor.
How did Americas’ first federal day of thanksgiving come about? The founding fathers in congress were thoroughly familiar with the bible and found precedent for such a day in 2 Chronicles 5-7. We as individuals who make up the USA must make time to pray and offer sincere thanksgiving to Almighty God who is truly loving and generous.
Pr. Bob Snitzer
By the Way:
Today, 3:30 Confirmation class.
Thursday – Friday 4-6:00 Saturday 18, OCC packing boxes 4-6:00 PM Sunday 22,
November 22, 9:00Sunday morning worship. Sermon: Give Thanks
Sunday school for all. Nov. 22, 10:15