This Sabbath day has been designated as a day of thanksgiving, a day of gratitude-even a day of prayer. We pause, we ponder, we reflect on the blessings an all-wise Heavenly Father has bestowed upon us, His children, by bringing peace to the battlefield of war and comfort to the hearts of so many in this wonderful world where we live and which we call home
This gathered worship, as Quakers call it, is not only absence of noise. Gathered worship springs from the reverent, silent expectation that God will come among the people. The silence deepens as we feel ourselves drawn beautifully to God and each other. Our hearts and souls burst with thanksgiving-a thanksgiving best expressed by silence. Silence growing from awe is the natural human response to hints of the Divine.
If you do not wish to be prone to anger, do not feed the habit; give it nothing which may tend to its increase. At first, keep quiet and count the days when you were not angry: "I used to be angry every day, then every other day: next, every two, then every three days!" and if you succeed in passing thirty days, sacrifice to the gods in thanksgiving.
I am no preacher of the old legal Sabbath. I am a preacher of the gospel. The Sabbath of the Jew is to him a task; the Lord's Day of the Christian, the first day of the week, is to him a joy, a day of rest, of peace, and of thanksgiving. And if you Christian men can earnestly drive away all distractions, so that you can really rest today, it will be good for your bodies, good for your souls, good mentally, good spiritually, good temporally, and good eternally.
Thanksgiving and Christmas then, for us who love God, are not mere time outs from work days. They are a celebration of the gift of work itself, days on which we celebrate work by declaring our freedom. In a manner of speaking we announce that on this one day we may rest from our work, and without pressure or guilt, we may be glad. A holiday is a holy day-meant for rejoicing in God.
It would seem that the ingratitude, whereby a subsequent sin causes the return of sins previously forgiven, is a special sin. For, the giving of thanks belongs to counter passion, which is a necessary condition of justice. But justice is a special virtue. Therefore this ingratitude is a special sin. Thanksgiving is a special virtue. But ingratitude is opposed to thanksgiving. Therefore ingratitude is a special sin.
The spirit of Thanksgiving rests in our recognizing the blessings in our lives, and as we all take stock, I hope you will join me in expressing sincerest thanks to our soldiers serving in harm's way in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the world. May God bless you on this day of thanks, and may God protect our troops.
I love Thanksgiving. I truly do. Every last thing about it is wonderful. I love getting together with family and friends. I love the meal. I love the football. I love the four-day weekend without having anything that particularly has to get done. And of course, I love the fundamental idea behind it-giving thanks for all the good people and good things in your life.