Monday, November 19, 2007
Lutheran Carnival LXIII – Thanksgiving Edition
Since Thanksgiving Day will soon be upon us, I decided to make that the theme of this carnival. As Christians, we are called to “thank and praise, serve and obey” God, and so surely there is nothing wrong with setting aside a special day directly related to praising God for everything He has given us, as long as we remember our duty to give thanks every day, in all things. In Deuteronomy 26:1-15, we see how God called His people to bring the first of everything that their land produced and bring it to God's altar. “Then you, your family, the Levite, and the foreigner living among you should feast on all the good things the Lord your God has given you.” (Deuteronomy 26:11, An American Translation). Leviticus 23:33-43 also mentions Sukkot, the festival of booths, a harvest festival. We also should make God the center of our modern-day harvest festival, and remember that all our blessings come from Him. In closing, here is George Washington's first Thanksgiving proclamation, 1789, when he set aside Thursday, November 26 of that year, as a day to acknowledge God's blessings upon our nation. Frederick Muhlenberg, a Lutheran pastor, was the first Speaker of the United States House of Representatives in 1789 when the joint committee of Congress asked George Washington “to recommend to the people of the United States a DAY OF PUBLICK THANSGIVING and PRAYER.” You can see how the original document appeared here.
by the President of the United States of America
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 favour; and Whereas both Houfes of Congress have, by their joint committee, requefted me "to recommend to the people of the United States a DAY OF PUBLICK THANSGIVING and PRAYER, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to eftablifh a form of government for their safety and happiness:"
NOW THEREFORE, I do recommend and affign THURSDAY, the TWENTY-SIXTH DAY of NOVEMBER next, to be devoted by the people of thefe States to the fervice of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our fincere and humble thanksfor His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the fignal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpofitions of His providence in the courfe and conclufion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have fince enjoyed;-- for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to eftablish Conftitutions of government for our fafety and happinefs, and particularly the national one now lately instituted;-- for the civil and religious liberty with which we are bleffed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffufing useful knowledge;-- and, in general, for all the great and various favours which He has been pleafed to confer upon us.
And also, that we may then unite in moft humbly offering our prayers and fupplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and befeech Him to pardon our national and other tranfgreffions;-- to enable us all, whether in publick or private ftations, to perform our feveral and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a bleffing to all the people by conftantly being a Government of wife, juft, and conftitutional laws, difcreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all fovereigns and nations (especially fuch as have shewn kindnefs unto us); and to blefs them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increafe of fcience among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind fuch a degree of temporal profperity as he alone knows to be beft.
GIVEN under my hand, at the city of New-York, the third day of October, in the year of our Lord, one thousand feven hundred and eighty-nine.
(signed) G. Washington
Now on to the meat of the carnival!
Let's start with Ask the Pastor, who put together a timely post on the beginnings of Lutheranism with All Hallows' Eve and the Dawn of the Reformation.
And speaking of the Reformation, Scottius Maximus wonders if the splintering of the Church on earth is really something to be happy about, in Why Celebrate?
Aardvark Alley touched upon the intersection of Church and state in a pair of recent posts. Veterans' Day: Eleven, Eleven, Eleven moves from the origins of the holiday to a comparison of false hopes for earthly peace with the true peace Christians have in our Savior. The Aardvark then went much farther back in history to examine and commemorate the religious and societal contributions of Justinian, Christian Ruler.
Liz may be blonde, but BlondeMoment has some very insightful (and timely, for her!) looks into the baptism of infants in On Baptism, On Baptism 2, On Baptism 3, and On Baptism 4. She also examines The Heart of Our Debate.
Also related to the Means of Grace, Rev. Chryst of Preacherblog talks about where God's true promises are to be found in Why My Trip to Israel Wasn't Spiritually Uplifting.
For more on God's promises, read this sermon by Rev. Lehmann of Drowning Myself Wherever I Can on Why I'm Not a Calvinist.
A Cleveland Confessional Lutheran relates a quote from Mythbusters to our modern sinful attitude in A Real Myth Buster.
And also examining our sinfulness, Thinking-Out-Loud looks at how our wish to correct others stems from our own works righteousness in Differences of a Pinion.
Thus ends this edition of the Lutheran Carnival. I wish you all a happy Thanksgiving rich with God's blessings! And I wish to express my thankfulness to my husband for fixing my laptop!