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Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Turlock, CA

Pastor's Thoughts for November 2008

Pastor

Each month our pastor writes to us from our Turlock church to share his thoughts on a topic of religious significance. His goal is to link the word of God as it is presented in the Bible and apply it to the context of our daily lives. Although each of these messages is dated they are in fact timeless in their spiritual significance.


First Thanksgiving Proclamation

Over the years I have always attempted to read the Presidential Proclamation of Thanksgiving Day as a part of our Thanksgiving Worship experience. I have quite a collection in my file from those of Carter, Clinton, Reagan, and George H and George W Bush. But the one I treasure most is the First Proclamation by George Washington, dated October 3, 1789.

We hear so many complaints about the fact that we acknowledge God as the one who has blessed us through the years, and that we should remove all references to God. And yet our nation has always claimed to be one nation under God. The core of our faith is the core of our nation. Note this “foundation” as you read this proclamation from George Washington.

“Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits and humbly to implore His protection and favor, and

Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness;

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the twenty-sixth day of November next to be devoted by the people of these States to the service and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war, for the great degree of tranquility, union and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

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 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 promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.”

Now I ask you. How many times did George Washington mention God and His many blessings?

-Pastor Starkey


 

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