Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday. The original Presidential declaration was based on the special day of thanks that the Pilgrims held to thank God for preserving them and for blessing them with a bountiful harvest. Aided by Squanto, they learned how to harvest oysters and how to survive in the New Land. It was an all day affair with food of all kinds prepared by both the Pilgrims and by the Indians. But the centerpiece of the day was a focus on the God from whom all our blessings flow. They knew that they would not have survived the previous winter or the winter to come without the guiding hand of Divine Providence.
There was actually another Thanksgiving celebration held years earlier in Virginia which had a similar complexion. Again, the Virginia Colony gave thanks to God for preserving them, watching over them, and blessing them with a great harvest. The Virginia Colony had gone through rough times. Initially they established a socialist system in which all would share equally in the crops, the hunting results, and the fishing harvest. But, not surprisingly, it failed. The aristocrats felt themselves too good to work in the fields and spent their time idling away or searching for gold. As a result of this disastrous system, many of the colonists died the first winter from starvation.
Finally, Captain John Smith instituted a free market system and after that the Virginia Colony flourished. And so it was that they gave thanks to God for their barns being filled to the brim before the winter came upon them. They re-learned a powerful truth from the Bible that, "If a man will not work, he shall not eat." (2 Thessalonians 3:10b) It was the slogan adopted by Captain John Smith and thereafter the Colony prospered.
Today our nation is going through what we consider to be hard economic times and indeed a large number of our countrymen and women are out of work. It’s my prayer that everyone who has the capacity to do a job of any kind will find a job to do. I don’t think that I can appreciate the desperation of being out of work and unable to find a job. We need to keep all these Americans in our prayers.
I was delighted that the Eberle Communications Group team showed their generosity this year by underwriting 1,310 Thanksgiving dinners for the poor and hungry in the Washington, DC area. This was true compassion. It was charity in the best sense of the word, for after all, the meaning of charity is love. And God commands us to care for and love our fellow man. Well done, folks.
Now, let me encourage you to have a wonderful 2010 Thanksgiving celebration, thanking God for our abundance, the blessings of freedom, and hope that only He can give. Like you, I plan to enjoy the turkey and the football, but I also plan to take some time to thank the Lord for my many blessings. A nation on its knees in Thanksgiving knows its priorities, its heritage, and its hope for years to come. Kathi and I wish you and your family all the best at Thanksgiving and in the years to come. May God continue to bless America as the land of the free, the faithful, and the home of the brave.