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The First Thanksgiving

The first Thanksgiving was a three day affair, as the early American settlers joined with the local native Americans in a time of appreciation to God for a successful harvest.

 

Life then was not as we have come to enjoy, but every day brought new challenges of hardship and survival.  Difficulty was a way of life for those who had left their homes to find a place where they would be free to worship God as they saw fit.

 

In the years following, various Thanksgivings were observed and proclamations given, but on November 1, 1777 the first Thanksgiving Proclamation was issued by the newly formed government of the United States.  It read in part,"Foreasmuch as it is the indispensible duty of all men to adore the superintending Providence of Almighty God to acknowledge with gratitude their obligations to him for benefits received... with penitent confessions of their sins... it is therefore recommended to set apart Thursday the eighteenth of December next, for Solemn Thanksgiving and Praise... to prosper the means of religion, for the promotion and enlargement of that kingdom which consisteth " In righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost."

 

These people had apparently never heard of the concept of "separation of church and state."

 

Recommended by Elias Boudinot (President of Congress) and Roger Shurman (signer of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution), the resolution was heartily accepted and signed by George Washington, President of the United States.

 

It is noteworthy that the doctrine of the Holy Ghost was familiar to these early leaders of America.  They were thankful for it, just as we are today.  " In everything by prayer and supplication with Thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." (Philippians 4:6).

 

Praying for you

Pastor Ritchey