As citizens of the United States of America, we have so much to give God thanks for. Yes, as citizens of the USA, we can give thanks for the great blessing of living in an exceptionally good nation. While the USA is not perfect, we must not dismiss the good of the USA for the sake of the perfect. While we always seek to make a more perfect union by addressing our national imperfections, we also acknowledge and give thanks for the true exceptionalism and great good of the United States.
Our national founders were not perfect — some of whom owned slaves — but the truth is that they established a new nation founded upon our US Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights that would over time promote human rights and civil liberties for all people. Also, while remaining religiously nonsectarian through the non-establishment of an official state religion, our founders intentionally and uniformly appealed to God as the basis for all human rights and civil liberties.
Unlike other democratic revolutions, our revolution was not an atheistic revolution. The founding of the USA was nonsectarian and tolerant of all religious or nonreligious points of view, but it was nevertheless founded upon a universal theistic perspective. The USA was not intended to be a theocracy, but our founders did intend for our nation to be a tolerant democratic republic that acknowledges and appeals to the Universal God of All as the unwavering supreme basis for our human rights and civil liberties.
Our national ideal, therefore, is to be this tolerant nonsectarian democratic republic that acknowledges and appeals to God as the universal foundation of our life and liberty. And our national founders beautifully affirmed in the Declaration of Independence that it is “self evident” that all people are “created equal” and that “they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” These national founders of ours, as “the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world,” professed this foundation for the USA, and they publically affirmed their “reliance on the protection of Divine Providence.”
From the Mayflower Compact of the Puritan Pilgrims to the Bill of Rights of the US Constitution, we have been blessed with a national heritage that continues to “form a more perfect union.” Always seeking to establish a more perfect union according to this wonderful heritage, we seek to create a melting-pot society of individuals who are judged by the content of their character, not by their specific ethnicity, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity, social status, and so on. While we celebrate this diversity of the human family, the USA is supposed to be a place where people are not labeled and typecast by groups. The USA is supposed to be a place where we are not grouped, boxed-in and categorized — a place where each individual is a minority of one who is free to write their own emancipation proclamation in life.
On our national Thanksgiving Day we will give our thanks to God for the great blessing of the United States of America. But, most of all, as Christians, we will give our primary thanks and praise to God for the all-surpassing blessing of Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God.
Thanks be to God for the forgiveness of sins and resurrection life we receive through Jesus! Thanks be to God for the salvation and renewal we receive through Jesus! Thanks be to God for the Word and Sacraments of Jesus! Thanks be to God for the grace and truth of Jesus! Thanks be to God for the faith, hope and love of Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord!
HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Pastor Tim