praying our thanks, let’s also see the need to take action in
Dale Turner Nov. 22, 1998
is only five days away.
could be said that Thanksgiving is the most important day of the
year because without gratefulness and thanksgiving, Christmas
would lose much of its meaning.
is a unique holiday. It did not begin with a savage battle, the
fall of a great city or the birth of a great statesman. It began with
the birth of a spirit the spirit of gratitude.
is essentially a home and family day. People will travel hundreds of
miles to get back to the old home, sit together at dinner, make a
family circle complete and know the happiness of being with those
tradition has great value, for so much today tends, to disrupt the
family and lessen the meaning of home relationships.
our Pilgrim Fathers instituted this anniversary, it was for them no
holiday. They were separated by the breadth of the ocean from home,
family and friends. A bleak prospect confronted them. For what,
then, did they give thanks?
root of their thanksgiving was the conviction that an overruling
providence had enabled them to lay the foundations of a new
commonwealth in which freedom of thought, worship and political
action were assured.
that first Thanksgiving Day, they dedicated themselves to that ideal.
From the first, it was their faith that this new land had been made
the custodian of ideals, the trustee of precious principles which it
was their mission to uphold and defend for all the races on Earth.
since, our great leaders have taught us that to the United States has
been entrusted a
world task that its mission is to be the
leader and helper of the people of the world.
dream," said Woodrow Wilson, "is that as the years go on
and the world knows more and more of America, it will turn to America
for those moral inspirations which lie at the base of all
freedom; that the world will never fear America unless it feels that
she is engaged in some enterprise which is inconsistent with the
rights of humanity; and that America will come into the full light of
the day when all shall know that she puts human rights above all
other rights and that her flag is the flag not only of America. but
of nation’s greatness
1835, the French writer Alexis de Tocqueville published a systematic
analysis of democracy as he found it in the United States.
wrote: "I sought for the genius and greatness of America in her
commodious harbors and ample rivers, and it was not there.
sought for the greatness and genius of America in her fertile fields
and boundless forests, and it was not there. I sought for the
greatness and genius of America in her rich mines and her vast world
commerce, and it was not there.
sought for the greatness and genius of America in her public school
system and her institutions of learning, and it was not there. I
sought for the greatness and genius of America in her democratic
Congress and matchless Constitution, and it was not there.
until I went into the. churches of America and heard here pulpits
aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her
genius and power. America is great because America is good, and if
America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great."
strong and vital church is the leaven that lifts and encourages our
country to be the good it was intended to be.
God be thanked that there is an institution on Earth that has a high
opinion of us all an institution that teaches that we are all
children of one God, with divine origin, supreme worth, boundless
possibilities and eternal destiny; an institution that proclaims that
there is but one race and but one language of love; a church that
earnestly endeavors to embody the principles, attitudes and actions
of Jesus in healing the sick, caring for the poor, clothing the
naked, feeding the hungry and earnestly proclaiming the word of
model for the whole world
unity, oneness and workability we have nurtured and maintained
in America for more than two centuries are truly a model for the
whole world. Someday, God willing and humans assenting, we shall
recognize our oneness as the Family of one Father and the pledge of
our allegiance will be "one world, "indivisible,
with liberty and justice for all."
will be impossible for any thoughtful person in America on
Thanksgiving Day to sit at a table loaded with food without
remembering that there are hundreds of millions of hungry
in our world today, The sense of our abundance must beget, on peril
of moral deterioration, an equal sense of compassion, charity and
ago, "Dear Abby" published her Thanksgiving prayer. It
is as appropriate today as it was years go.
O heavenly Father, we thank
Thee for food and remember the hungry.
thank Thee for health and remember the sick.
thank Thee for friends and remember the friendless.
thank Thee for freedom and remember the enslaved.
this remembrances stir us to service
Thy gifts to us may be used for others.