Thanksgiving

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Without a doubt, Thanksgiving is my favorite American Holiday, followed closely by St. Patrick’s Day (mostly just because I am Irish and love corned beef and cabbage).  

Black Friday notwithstanding, Thanksgiving still retains a modicum of purity.  The name of the holiday says it all . . . 

Thanks. Giving. Giving thanks.  

Granted, in our pluralistic and even atheistic American hodge-podge culture, it could be anyone’s guess to whom we should give thanks.  But, even a deaf, dumb, and blind student of our national history has to acknowledge the hand of Providence, as our Founders so often put it.  

Almighty God’s goodness to us in America has been unmerited and unprecedented in modern history.  Even on our worst day, we have many reasons to thank God.  Though it is in vogue among cultural elites and network media moguls to hate on America, this Marine Corps Captain is having none of it.  I have seen many other parts of the world.  I have witnessed people living in conditions worse than our pets.  I have seen what socialism and communism and atheistic Marxism produce.  As my youngest daughter would say, “It’s a no for me.”  

But even far above and beyond the rich blessings of living in America, we Christians ought never to cease praising and thanking our God for His kindnesses upon us in Christ our Lord.  Just a few generations prior to the American Revolution, my ancestors worshiped false druid deities.  And yet, here I am, a Baptist Pastor with a wife and children and church who love Jesus, confess Him as Lord and King, and delight in sharing His gospel with others.  All of grace!  O, for a thousand tongues to sing, our Great Redeemer’s praise!  

That was my Grandad McWhorter’s favorite hymn.  It was originally written by Charles Wesley in 1739, as an 18-stanza commemoration of the first anniversary of his conversion and new birth in Christ.  The original title was “For the Anniversary Day of One’s Conversion.”     

It would do us all some good, yea, even refresh our very souls, to sing this hymn as we gather ‘round the festive table this Thanksgiving.

O for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer’s praise,
The glories of my God and King, the triumphs of His grace!

My gracious Master and my God, assist me to proclaim,
To spread through all the earth abroad the honors of Thy name.

Jesus, the name that calms my fears, that bids my sorrows cease; 
‘Tis music in the sinner’s ears; ‘Tis life and health and peace.

He breaks the power of canceled sin, He sets the prisoner free; 
His blood can make the foulest clean, His blood availed for me.