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ThanksgivingDo not get tired of doing what is good. Don't get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time.
For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
- Galatians 6:9
and from the God Web -
Thanksgiving: Mirror Unto the Soul of a Nation
A House Divided ... Can and Shall Stand. Here's How.
Thanksgiving is the only American holiday in which an act of prayer is front and center. On Thanksgiving Day the President of the United States will lead the nation in a prayer. This happens at a time when the nation is deeply divided over the appropriate connections between politics and piety, church and state. It happens at a time when the law forbids a public school principal from doing exactly what the President is doing, and if he or she did try to lead such a prayer, the same government which the President heads would step in and forbid it.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court continues to wrestle with the place of prayer in our public schools, and Congress passionately debates legislation designed to circumvent prior court decisions. Ironically, in countless local communities across the United States, people of different faith traditions will gather in a common act of prayer on Thanksgiving Day, even though their understanding of what such prayer signifies varies wildly.
More than any other holiday, Thanksgiving has been the time for ecumenical and interfaith services all across this country; yet, it is also a holiday which reflects the deep divisions and fissures in American society perhaps more than any other.
It was Abraham Lincoln who, rephrasing Scripture, said: "A house divided against itself cannot stand."
Yet our differences over the proper place of faith in our nation's public life clearly show no signs of being resolved. Today it is becoming clearer and clearer that consensus on such issues is impossible. We are coming to realize that a nation divided over questions of basic belief and practice cannot stand .... unless there is a greater degree of appreciation for religious difference than there has been in the past. Also required is an appreciation of the experience and point of view of those who have no religion.
Unless we disenthrall ourselves of the notion that the purpose of Christianity or any other religion is to triumph over all others, it is likely that the Scripture's warning about the nation's fall may prove relevant at this time in our history.
On the other hand, as we learn to appreciate and even celebrate our differences, then all Americans shall truly have something to be thankful for.
May the house in which we render thanks be large enough and welcoming enough to include even those who are not prepared to pray!