Two Days Remain...

This list isn't for your Christmas shopping, whether you plan to start that tomorrow or during Thanksgiving or even wait until the little more traditional "Black" Friday.

No, this is your list of what you are thankful for this year.

I'm working on mine to share Thursday.

Thanksgiving Day is a special day - its starting to be threatened by distractions encrouching on its meaning - but it will survive. 

Especially if each of us recognize and honor its purpose.  The first official one was declared by President Washington.  (Keep in mind, he didn't become President in 1776, it wasn't until 1789!)

Signed by Washington on October 3, 1789 and entitled "General Thanksgiving," the decree appointed the day "to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God."
While there were Thanksgiving observances in America both before and after Washington's proclamation, this represents the first to be so designated by the new national government.

Those early Thanksgiving celebrations were chosen by the states, not becoming a national holiday until President Lincoln put it into action.  The full proclamation is here,  but when he made this declaration in 1861, the Civil War was underway, tearing at the fabric of our country. 

But, as Lincoln told us, it was still a time for thanksgiving:
No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People.

I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.

While the games will surely beckon for our attention and the sale circulars tempt us to accumulate more and more... be sure to take some real time and attention for giving thanks this holiday.  Despite difficulties, despite war, despite conflict, despite pain - confusion - sadness - loss... we can lift our heads and hands with the psalmist in a prayer of thanks.

Psalm 100...
1Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
2Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
3Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
5For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.