Both riches and honor come from You, And You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; In Your hand it is to make great And to give strength to all. “Now therefore, our God, We thank You And praise Your glorious name ..” ... 1 Chron 29:12-13.
"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 enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually, to render our national government a blessing to all the People, by constantly being a government of wise, just and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed, to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord. To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and Us, and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best."
-Last Paragraph of George Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation, October 3, 1789
Tomorrow, many of us will gather with family and friends and offer our thanks to the Lord our God, through our savior, Jesus Christ. We will gorge ourselves on turkey, stuffing and pie. Many of us will then fall asleep watching the Ravens/49ers game (yours truly included).
However, by duty or circumstance, many will not participate in such festivities. Men and women fighting overseas in Afghanistan and Iraq, men and women serving as police and firefighters will not be with their families on this solemn day because they will be fighting/working to keep us safe and free.
Some will not be with their families because of financial circumstances. Whether they are in shelters or don't have enough money to spend on shelter, utilities AND a full Thanksgiving spread, many in this terrible economy will simply not be able to participate in a dinner with family and friends. Many others will be alone for Thanksgiving, having said goodbye to their soulmate because of disease and death.
We are a truly blessed people, living in a truly blessed nation. Many of us have creature comforts that are the envy of the world. While these things are nice, they are not what make us free. Freedom comes from the ability to decide our own path in life under a blanket of protection provided by those who would willingly give their lives for the freedom of those whom they do not know. We honor them by gathering with our family to thank the Lord, through Christ, for our many blessings. We honor God by doing all we can to help those serving our country and those who cannot help themselves.
So, as I get ready to close up shop, get off the grid and head to the DC suburbs to celebrate Thanksgiving with the people I love, please join me in helping our military, police and firefighters, as well as those down on their luck. Below are some links, if you're interested.
Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society: http://www.nmcrs.org/
Wounded Warrior Project: http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/
Catholic Charities: http://www.catholiccharitiesusa.org/
Sister Jean's Kitchen: http://www.jeanwebsterskitchen.com/
May God Bless all of you and yours. May God Bless our military and public safety professionals. May God provide a blanket of protection for those struggling with disease and despair. And may God continue to Bless our wonderful United States of America. Have a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving.