November 13, 2017
On Friday night FCS will host the annual Thanksgiving dinner. Forty-three years ago, in my first year at FCS, the dinner was held in what is now the administration building and served out of what is now the main campus faculty work room. In the early years each class provided a turkey and all the trimmings for the families who came together. Today the dinner has grown into an event that is catered for a thousand people, and hundreds more who enjoy the performances and the carnival rides. As the years have come and gone this event has mirrored God’s blessing on our school and the families who make up the FCS community. God has certainly continued to bless FCS throughout all of these years, and we have so much to be thankful for as a school during this Thanksgiving season.
If you were to visit Plymouth, Massachusetts and stand on the spot where the Pilgrims landed in America, one of things you could enjoy is to read the words written by some of those who actually experienced the hardships of planting a colony in the New World. In describing the feast, which took place (in December) of 1621, one of the Pilgrims, Edward Winslow, said, “Our harvest being gotten in, our Governor sent four men fowling (hunting) so that we might after a special manner, rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as…served the company in one week. Many of the Indians came amonst us and their greatest King Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted; and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God we are far from want.”
The words of President Abraham Lincoln at Thanksgiving in 1863, during the Civil War, are appropriate for our country in the day we live in. Lincoln said, “With humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, pray for 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.” In his Thanksgiving proclamation to the nation President George Bush said, “Our country was founded by men and women who realized their dependence on God and were humbled by His providence and grace. We recall the great privilege it is to live in a land where freedom is the right of every person and where all can pursue their dream.” Both of these presidents spoke of a nation which needed to recognize the hand of God in the affairs of the country, and that the responsibility we have as a nation to recognize our national disobedience to Him is part of our dependence on Him. In his Thanksgiving message, President Barrack Obama said, “As Americans gather for the time-honored Thanksgiving Day meal, let us rejoice in the abundance that graces our tables, in the simple gifts that mark our days, in the loved ones who enrich our lives, and in the gifts of a gracious God. Let us recall that our forebears met their challenges with hope and an unfailing spirit, and let us resolve to do the same.” Thanksgiving has traditionally been a time that American Presidents acknowledge that God is the source of all the blessings we have received in our lives. My prayer is that this tradition will never cease.
In its 50th year of existence, Florida Christian School will celebrate the blessings of God on our school this week at our Thanksgiving dinner, and for our nation the following week. May we not forget that God’s people must speak out regarding the truth of how we have received God’s blessings in the first place, both individually and as a nation. “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” II Chronicles 7:14. In order for the blessings of God to continue on our school we must humbly pray, stand for righteousness and truth, and stay true to our God given mission for the next 50 years.
As a nation, we are at a critical juncture in time. In the politically correct America of 2017, a call for all Americans to pray and place their faith in God alone, is met with those who object to such an appeal because in this age of “tolerance” to do so would be considered intolerant. So even as America struggles as a deeply divided country, I believe American’s still have the opportunity to ask God to forgive our national sins, seek His face, and return to Him and receive his blessings. Our prayer for our country and our political leaders this Thanksgiving should be for our nation to repent and return to its traditional dependence on Almighty God for His blessings.
Here at FCS, as long as we are free to teach and preach God’s truth, we will faithfully proclaim this Biblical formula for receiving the continued blessings from God as a nation, as a Christian school, as Christian families, and as individual believers.
Hope to see everyone at the Thanksgiving Extravaganza on Friday night.