Happy Thanksgiving, 2018, from all of us at The American Vision. . . .
On this festival, we are thankful for the Giver of Life and all Blessings, recalling the commitment of our Pilgrim forefathers:
“We covenant with the Lord and with one another and do bind ourselves in the presence of God to walk together in all His ways, according as He is pleased to reveal Himself unto us in His blessed word of truth.”
Such a dependence upon God can guide us through difficult times. In this also, our Pilgrim forerunners, including their native friends and guides in this land, give us help. The Pilgrims especially fell on hard times early, through their own political goofs:
The first pilgrim colony attempted to enforce a communistic society. In months the communistic storehouse was strained. It did not take long for some to learn they could slack in working and yet received the same amount of rationed victuals; meanwhile, those who did work hard to produce more also received the same amount while those who slacked ate of the extra fruits of the labors of those who worked harder. Soon, everyone slacked and the storehouse was empty. Half of the settlers died in the first winter. The governors learned the hard way, though slowly; it took three years into the settlement when they finally took the advice of the farmers who were doing the work: land was divided into private plots. Greater prosperity soon followed. The story is well known. What is lesser known is that many elements of this quickly-privatized property economy remained under common ownership and government control. This only improved after 1675. (Restoring America, 222.)
There has certainly been no shortage of failure, miscalculation, bad ideas, division, envy, and animosity throughout our times, from the national level to the local level, all the way down to individual relations at our own dinner table.
Yet if we adhere closely to the core principles of our commitment—indeed, if we adhere closely to our Lord and his commandments, and trust in him—we have the tools not only to overcome our mistakes, but to bear the burdens of weak and improve others around us through our gifts.
It is for this gift and power from our Lord, and through us to each other, that we should give thanks today. It is for this reason we feast! On that note, I will now share one of my favorite Bible passages with you:
And David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod.
So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet. . . .
And they brought in the ark of the Lord, and set it in his place, in the midst of the tabernacle that David had pitched for it: and David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord.
And as soon as David had made an end of offering burnt offerings and peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts.
And he dealt among all the people, even among the whole multitude of Israel, as well to the women as men, to every one a cake of bread, and a good piece of flesh, and a flagon of wine. So all the people departed every one to his house (2 Sam. 6:14–19).
David brought the ark of the covenant back where it belonged; he danced and celebrated as hard as he could. Then he held a great Barbeque and made sure everyone ate and drank their fill, and had feasts, treats, and went home happy.
In short, because the people could rejoice in the presence of God, in a right-relationship with God, they realized they had something about which to feast and party.
Did they have problems? Just read 1 and 2 Samuel up to that point and see. Did they have animosity between brethren? Yeah. Did they have political division? Big time. Even the verse I edited out for brevity reveals strife in David’s own house. Yet David looked through it all at this point. The presence of God and our relationship with him is the core of it all.
If we can cling to that, we can fix the rest. Indeed, the more we truly cling to that, the more we will realize it is only because he is clinging to us first. Then we’ll realize we not only can fix the rest, but how.
And that is something for which to give thanks.
Thank you all for following and supporting American Vision so far this year. We are looking forward to more great things to come. . . .