Thanksgiving is a uniquely American “holy day” that arose out of the deep faith of our spiritual ancestors–the Pilgrims–who came to these shores in November of 1620. Other nations celebrate it (like Canada to the north), and Israel enjoyed many holidays that were used to give gratitude to God.
But our American Thanksgiving is different. It came from a community of New Testament believers who not only grasped the importance of thanking God in all things, but experienced a providential act they never forgot.
I just returned from the county courthouse where I spent the morning with forty fellow Americans serving on jury duty.
I have many friends whose faces fall when they receive a jury summons in the mail. A number of them are close to me (and shall remain nameless).
On the other hand, I relish the call to jury duty because it reminds me of the privilege of living in a nation where biblical principles dictate a love of justice that is completely foreign to Muslim governments and totalitarian nations–and most of recorded history.
To me, the duty and responsibility of citizenship in a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people” is a priceless treasure.
Since this past week saw an outbreak of horrific evil with national elections looming, I think it’s fitting that we admonish each other to hate evil, do our duty and get out and vote.
Shirley and I are our two mothers just returned from a trip to the local cemetery. We do it every Memorial Day to thank God both for those who’ve gone before us, and especially for those who laid their lives down for our country.
Most of our relatives’ remains are interred at Sunset Lane in Port Orchard. The cemetery conntains a beautiful view of Sinclair Inlet and each Memorial Day is festooned with large flags scattered throughout the property and small flags placed at the headstone of all those who’ve served in war.
Today, thousands of flowers graced the resting place of our forefathers–many containing vases of rhododendrons–Washington’s state flower. We brought the same from my mother’s yard to place at the graves of our loved ones.
I cherish Memorial Day because I’m deeply thankful for those who both gave me life and who laid their lives down that we might live free.
May we always be grateful for life and liberty.