I struggle this year with the Thanksgiving holiday. Standing Rock is on my mind and coupling the injustices with the mythology of “The First Thanksgiving” makes me want to throw my pumpkin pie at the wall. November has been that kind of month when the divisions are crystal clear. They were always there. There was too much window dressing to notice. (That’s for another blog post.) As Rev. Dr. Rob Hardies of All Souls Church Unitarian in Washington, DC asked in his sermon Sunday “What does it mean to be people of the Welcome Table in the age of the wall?”
I found something to put this “holiday” into right relation — Lincoln’s official 1863 Thanksgiving proclamation. There’s no mention of pilgrims, Indians or pumpkins. It was written and signed in the time of civil war. So I’ll look to Lincoln this Thanksgiving. Hope we’ll all give this proclamation — in whatever faith or belief we hold dear — a chance.
Lincoln’s words can be our Thanksgiving prayer.
And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.