Just saw an article stating that we should abandon the holiday of Thanksgiving and replace it with a day of atonement.
There is one. This year, it was September 15/16. That is the Jewish tradition: Yom Kippur being the beginning of the new year, and this is preceded by the self-evaluation of the people. They look at their lives over the past year and see where they sinned and what they can do to please God.
The Muslims have a day of atonement in August and recall Moses crossing the Red Sea and the assassination of the grandson of Mohammed. It, too, is a time of reflection and confession meant to bring people closer to Allah. It is observed in August.
We don’t appear to have one in this country. Why? Is it because we have too much to apologize for?
In order to atone for our sins, we must recognize them.
- We’re sorry we brought death and disease to the indigenous peoples on this continent
- We’re sorry we stole all the land and exiled people from their hereditary homes
- We’re sorry we stole all those souls in Africa and brought them against their will to serve as machines
- We’re sorry we changed the laws of involuntary servitude to be permanent and inheritable (if you are a slave, then so are your children and grand children)
- We’re sorry we persecuted all the immigrants from Asia
- We’re sorry we imprisoned the Japanese Americans in concentration camps
- We’re sorry we have raped the land
- We’re sorry we invaded and overthrew leaders even though it was none of our business
- We’re sorry we have so gravely removed anything nutritious in the food we produce
- We’re sorry we have removed everything religious about our religious holidays
- We’re sorry we have denied basic inalienable rights to so many members of our society
- We’re sorry we have neglected to raise our children to respect others and to be people of character
- We’re sorry that we elevate people of bad character to stations of respect and idolize them
- We’re sorry we place more value on entertainment than wisdom
- We’re sorry that we have abandoned all sense of decency because it’s not as much fun
- We’re sorry that we continue to persecute people that are not white
- We’re sorry that we refuse to help the poor
- We’re sorry that we focus on long-term returns on investment rather than cures for curable situations.
- We’re sorry we choose people to represent us and then make them lead instead
- We’re sorry we have legislated to the point were any laws broken are relegated to jail time
- We’re sorry that we have the highest incarceration rate in the world
- We’re sorry that we have fallen so far in the education of our children
- We’re sorry that one of the main causes of death is being unable to pay for health care
It sounds to me that we should spend a month atoning! I bet it has sparked some other things you, dear reader, are aware of that need atoning for.
But Thanksgiving is a Harvest Festival. You don’t celebrate the harvest by not eating it! We rejoice in the bounty God has provided us: the food (even if it is less than nutritious), our families, our friends, our freedom, football…
When should we have a time of atonement? How about Advent? Those four weeks before Christmas when we remember the coming of Jesus as a baby. (Even though we think Jesus might have been born in the spring, December 25 was chosen due to the idea that heroic beings were conceived on the same date of their death. Since they believed Jesus died in March, he would have been conceived in March and born in December.) We also look forward to the second coming of Jesus, at the end times. WHEN EVERYONE WILL BE JUDGED!
Think about it. When is the time when the most people are charitable? That’s when the Salvation Army buckets and ringers come out. That’s when they have food drives for the poor. That’s when more people serve in soup kitchens. That’s when people send donations to the poor in other countries as well. Charity is one way of making atonement.
When we recall the predictions of the end of times, don’t we also examine our lives and those of our families and our enterprises to see if they’re in alignment with God’s law? This is not an easy process as most people never think of unintended consequences. Should we not examine how our government behaves and those we have chosen to represent us? Are they following Godly precepts? If they are, there should be some acts of atonement as well.
By all means, YES, let’s assign a time of atonement for this country. But let’s not forget to be thankful for what we have. Do not turn this celebration into a time of mourning.
If we remember why we look forward to the second coming of Jesus, maybe, just maybe Christmas means a bit more. Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqOOUJFv1n0) Maybe in buying gifts and decorating we add a gift to the child who will get none. Maybe we pray for forgiveness and then forgive someone. Maybe we remember WHY Jesus came and we save someone. Maybe we remember how Jesus came and we care for someone who needs it. Maybe, as Jim Rohn used to put it, we just use the last month of the year to reflect on the good and the bad, and plan for our next year. And when we plan, we don’t just write down our goals and what we wish to accomplish and acquire. We make use of the perspective we have gained throughout the past year, apply the wisdom we have gained, and align ourselves with our new worldview.