There was a time in America when Christmas and Easter were the main Christian Holidays, celebrating the birth of Jesus, and His sacrificial death and resurrection. In recent decades merchants have turned these holidays into commercial shopping sprees, and secular celebration.
One holiday remains with strong elements of that which is holy: Thanksgiving! AND, it is originally a state holiday as well as a religious holiday. The first Thanksgiving in America was proclaimed by Gov. John Winthrop in the Massachusetts colony. There the government was by the church, the Congregational Church, the Mother of the United Church of Christ.
Later Thanksgiving was proclaimed by President Lincoln. Later still it was proclaimed by President Franklin Roosevelt and all his successors in office. Hence, not only Christians, but also Jews, Mormons and Muslims celebrate this holy day in our time, as well as those of other faiths or no faith.
Surely, there is no prayer that gets one closer to God than prayers of Thanksgiving. Nor is there any prayer which better cleanses our souls and readies us to practice our faith than a prayer of Thanksgiving. Being thankful readies us to receive the presence and the leading of God.
There is probably no time in America when Protestants and Catholics are closer than at a community Thanksgiving service. Whether you are traveling or at home, surely you will want to be close to God at Thanksgiving.
This Thanksgiving let us pray especially for the families and congregations of those American Rabbis who were viciously murdered in Jerusalem. Let us also pray for the innocent people in Syria who are being brutally murdered by their own government with us use of scrap metal bombs whose contents literally tear victims apart.
Let us pray for our own leaders that they will find the right course to deal with the failed governments of Middle Eastern Muslim countries. Let us pray that order may come to those countries, that murders and killings may cease and order may come to them. Let us pray for the brave men and women of our nation’s armed forces who are being sent into the maelstrom of national insanity in which Syria, Lybia, Iraq, and Afghanistan now exist with the disorder, violence, viciousness and cruelty and brutality that are so prevalent.