A Time for Thanksgiving

Published 8:49 pm Saturday, November 27, 2021

As we pause from our busy schedules this week to observe another day of National Thanksgiving, it is fitting that we think back to where we were a year ago, when we were just beginning our ascent from the depths of the pandemic, hopeful that things were beginning to turn around, but still a bit fearful and uncertain. We’ve come a long way, and for that I am thankful.

I remember a prayer I caught myself praying a lot back then, based on a Bible passage from 2nd Chronicles 7:14, “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.”

I found it interesting last year that Natchez’ municipal election was held on July 14 – “7:14”. I took it as a sign that as long as we put God first, He would heal our land. And I truly believe this is happening. We as a community have been working hard to do all we can to move Natchez forward, but ultimately I believe it is God’s favor that makes the difference.

Deep down, because God is Love, I believe love truly is the answer, and for the growing love in our community I am thankful. This is why it is so important that we practice love and not hate: the scripture commands us to turn from wickedness, and it could be said that the greatest wickedness currently plaguing our land today is hate. All over, from Washington on down, acrimony and division are literally tearing our country apart.

I am grateful that Natchez is a city first in love – a city where our love for one another is fostering unity and community, thereby creating opportunity, which draws others to us rather than repelling them from us.

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the amazing journey we as a nation have taken in our quest for freedom – and love. I am thankful for the pilgrims who first came to America in search of religious freedom, the patriots through three centuries who gave their “last ounce of courage and devotion” so that we might be free, and even the “freedom riders” and those brave souls who bled in our streets during the war for civil rights so that all could be truly free.

I am thankful that we are, more and more, living up to the ideals set forth so eloquently by Thomas Jefferson when he wrote that all are created equal. Our country is far from perfect, but I am thankful in America, one can spend every day “in the pursuit of happiness”, regardless of their color or creed.

In closing, I am thankful – grateful beyond measure to be your Mayor. May God continue to bless Natchez. And may His blessings for you and yours abundantly overflow during this special time of year.

Dan Gibson is mayor of Natchez.