As we enter the day we know as Thanksgiving, let us mourn for the millions of Native Americans who have died at the hands of their oppressors and lament the horror of white European colonialism. Let us not cling to the “schoolbook myth of friendly relations” (1) between the invading Europeans and the indigenous Americans.

Let us also “commend to [the Lord’s] tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable” (2) strife in which we have found our nation both in the past and in the present. Let us “implore…the Almighty[’s] Hand to heal the wounds of [our] nation [and the world] and to restore it … to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and Union.” (2)

And, finally, let us not celebrate a particular day or event in history. Rather, in keeping with the original intent of this holiday, “Let us come before the LORD with THANKSGIVING” (3) for the unmerited blessings that we do enjoy regardless of our heritage, our transgressions, and our current circumstance. “For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods.” (3)

1) The Suppressed Speech of Wamsutta (Frank B.) James, Wampanoag, to have been delivered at Plymouth, Massachusetts, 1970

2) Proclamation of Thanksgiving by President Abraham Lincoln, 1863

3) Psalm 95:2-3