October 28, 2021 | Proclamation

The first words of the 1st proclamation of a National Day of Thanksgiving for the United States, October 3rd, 1789 go like this, ‘Whereas, it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the Providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, humbly implore his protection and favor…”


Our forefathers were bold to put in the very beginning of this proclamation that it was their solemn duty, indeed every nation’s duty, to acknowledge that God Almighty was their source of strength, their guide, their provider and their protector. On October 3rd, 1789, this seemed right and proper to do.


Now we fast-forward over 200 years and it seems the message has changed. We look from the outside in at our present condition and we see that God has taken a much less prominent role in the affairs of state. That’s not to say that we are not still led by gods, its just that the gods have changed.


The proclamation of Jesus to His disciples was clear, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). Since that time, faithful servants of Christ have followed that calling. Because of it, Christianity has grown to become the largest faith in the world.


But it has not been without its opponents proclaiming a very different message. Even in our own country, loud voices are ringing out calling the church things our founding fathers would never have imagined. Christianity has taken a back seat to secularism and in too many areas our relationship with an Almighty God has vanished.


That doesn’t change the fact, however, that, “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). This is the proclamation to share with a society that has largely forgotten what the writer of the 1st Proclamation of a National Day of Thanksgiving was talking about.


Our proclamation of faith should be heard clearly echoing Jesus words to Thomas and the other disciples, “(Jesus is) the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through (Him)” (John 14:6). These words are as true now as the day they were proclaimed, and it is our calling to further proclaim them to the world.


After Jesus had ascended, His disciples met in the upper room and were filled with the Holy Spirit. People from many nations gathered to witness what was happening and Peter proclaimed to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). Peter was pointing them to salvation. He was essentially saying the same things as our forefathers, acknowledging the providence of Almighty God and offering them salvation through faith and Baptism.


Our country and our world need to hear these words once again. In places where we have lost our way, we need to be bold to proclaim the sovereignty of God as the way to everlasting peace. There is no room for meekness, the need is too great because, “The day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done in it will be exposed” (2 Peter 3:10).


The decision is before all of us to answer the call or to act like lost sheep. Either we resist the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, or we proclaim as Jesus did, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18-19).


It’s up to all of us. Are you up to the task? Trust in the Lord to guide you to new opportunities to proclaim the Good News. We have much to share. Let your voice be heard. Please pray with me:


Heavenly Father, give us courage to proclaim to the world the Good News of salvation found only in Your Son Jesus Christ. Forgive us for our silence and teach us to be bold in service to You. Amen.