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Civil Thankfulness: Happy Thanksgiving!

26 November, 2009

I think it would be hard to find someone to argue that family values in America are not dying rapidly. Yet built into the very fabric of our society is a deep appreciation of family and food. Although I am not particularly happy with giving Thanksgiving a Christian spin, I am happy that there are some days in American society where it is extremely difficult to avoid family. Even the commercials emphasize good times with family, almost making it a stigma to be alone. I can only commend that President Abe Lincoln declared a day where we could nationally recognize the importance of family and food.  Many Americans have loved ones that they do not especially like, but tomorrow they should have a heightened sense of thanks for those who are close to them.  Without family—even the unlikable—the integrity of society would collapse.

We should also be very thankful that we have lots to eat when so many starve abroad. In his good providence and benevolence, God has stooped low towards Americans to enjoy what so many lack. And God has not only just been good to “good” Christians, but he has seen fit to bestow this blessing on non-Christian Americans. This commonality is what Reformed theologians have referred to as common grace or common goodness towards humanity. Let us celebrate family and food on this secular holiday. Let us hope that tomorrow’s commemoration of food and family would captivate families every day of the year.

For a short and interesting history of the origins of Thanksgiving, see this 3 min. video.



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