Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day. We have much to be thankful for. Let us not forget why we can be thankful. God has blessed us in so many ways. “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”–1 Thessalonians 5:18
Pilgrims and Indians at the first Thanksgiving
Below is the beginning of one of the first Thanksgiving sermons ever preached:
A SERMON, DELIVERED FEBRUARY 19, 1795: BEING THE DAY OF PUBLIC THANKSGIVING Throughout the United States. BY THOMAS BALDWIN.
PSALM XXXIII 12
BLESSED IS THE NATION WHOSE GOD IS THE LORD, AND THE PEOPLE WHOM HE HATH CHOSEN FOR HIS OWN INHERITANCE.
In obedience to the call of the President of the United States, we are now, my brethren, assembled in the house of God to offer thanksgiving and prayer to the “great Ruler of nations, for the manifold and signal mercies which distinguish our lot as a nation” [a direct quote from the 1795 Thanksgiving Proclamation issued by President George Washington]. And as God is this day publicly to be praised in the assemblies of His people, I have thought the [Bible] passage now read might be a suitable foundation of our present meditations.
This beautiful psalm, whoever might be the penman of it, is evidently designed to set forth the power and goodness of God in such an amiable [agreeable] light as to excite our confidence, awaken our gratitude, and warm the devout passions of the soul with sacred joy.
If we contemplate God either in His word or works, we shall find abundant matter for joy and thankfulness: “For the word of the Lord is right, and all His works are done in truth. He loveth righteousness and judgment; the earth is full of goodness of the Lord” [Psalm 33:4-5].
From this view of the righteousness, equity, and benevolence of the Divine government, the pious psalmist was led to exclaim, as in the text; “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, and the people whom He hath chosen for his own inheritance.” That we may more fully enter into the spirit of the text, we shall attempt:
I. To show when it may be said of a nation that “the Lord is their God” – to consider what evidence a people may have that the Lord has chosen.
II. To consider what evidence a people may have that the Lord hath chosen them for His inheritance.
III. That we may infer the duty and obligations of a people thus favored and blessed (in illustrating of which we shall attend to several particulars contained in the proclamation).
The remainder of this sermon can be read at: Thanksgiving Sermon
Also, President George Washington’s Thanksgiving Day Proclamation of 1795 can be found at: Thanksgiving Proclamation
President Obama’s Thanksgiving Proclamation