Now Thank We All Our God
November 19, 2012 - Monday
Written by FRC Senior Fellow Bob Morrison
This Thanksgiving, we are given another opportunity to examine our hearts and ask ourselves what we are truly thankful for. As American Christians, we can surely thank God for our abundant harvest. Despite difficult economic times that have dragged on for years, America's farmers, by God's grace and their own untiring labors, have continued to bring forth the bounty of the earth. For this we should be profoundly grateful. Yes, this year's Thanksgiving feast will be a bit more expensive than last year's. But at an estimated $50 to feed a table of ten, this dinner is truly a wonder.
Simply to gather around a holiday meal and not have to hide, not have to close the shutters, is a blessing. For millions of our fellow Christians, this is not possible. Around the world, in North Korea, China, and especially in the Bloody Crescent, too often the breaking of bread is accompanied by the breaking of heads. We at Family Research Council will pause in our celebrations to pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters in other lands. Our hearts are attuned to the cry of the martyrs.
Last year, we saluted the Romeike family of Tennessee. These Christian home schoolers came to our shores to escape from the unjust laws in their native land-- Germany. We welcome this dear family because we see in them the proper descendents of those first English Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620. For millions of immigrants arriving here under our protection and under our laws, religious freedom is that beacon of light that draws them here. Ironically, it was German Chancellor Angela Merkel who just weeks ago captured the attention of the world by saying it was Christians who are the most persecuted on earth. We thank God for Chancellor Merkel's courage. We note that this pastor's daughter has been willing to speak out when many of her male colleagues have cowered and denied the obvious truth.
Caring for our dear fellow Christians undergoing tribulations does not mean we do not care for those in other communities. Our hearts go out especially to the Jews in Israel, who daily endure rocket attacks. Their harvest celebrations are too often punctuated by the wail of an air raid siren. They must grab their toddlers and their gas masks and head for the bomb shelters. The Baha'i in Iran, the Buddhists in Tibet, and the Huigars in Xinjiang Province in China, each of these religious minorities faces cruel oppression. When we pray for our fellow Christians, we are not unmindful of friends in other religions who are likewise endangered.
We also recognize that while we as Christians are not yet meeting in catacombs in America, this home of freedom, there is growing intolerance for the public profession of our faith. FRC has raised the banner of belief. We have sounded the bell of freedom to warn of mounting threats to our free exercise of religion. This Thanksgiving is a good time to pray that we will see a revival of the faith in America and a renewal of our country's commitment to its First Freedom. We ask for the freedom to worship, to be sure. But we will press for more. We will assert our rights as citizens of this Great Republic. We will insist upon the right to witness for Christ in the public square, knowing we must obey God rather than men.
We have recently celebrated the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible. This magnificent work has done so much to shape our language, our thoughts, and our very image of our Lord. Still, it was this same King James of England and Scotland who threatened those long ago Pilgrims. "They will conform or I will harry them out of the kingdom," he decreed. King James thought he could force these Christian dissenters to attend his church and pay taxes to support his clergy.
It was from resistance to this idea--that the government can dictate to the consciences of the people--that America was born. The Pilgrims' Thanksgiving feast of 1621 would never have happened had they stayed at home in England and bowed their necks to the king's yoke.
Thanksgiving is thus for us as American as the Fourth of July, as American as apple pie. And it is a special day for Christians to remember whom we thank for the blessings of liberty. Now thank we all our God.
** The Update will be taking a few days off, but FRC will continue to keep you informed through Action Alerts, if necessary. From the entire staff at FRC, our warmest wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving!