Bill Ellis: February has many special days
February is the shortest month of the year, just four full weeks, no days left over. We have Groundhog Day; February 7 was my brother Whitey’s birthday, as well as my brother-in-law, John; Ash Wednesday, the ushering in of the Lenten Season. I expect my special friend, Drew, will be willing again to give up school for Lent.
We remembered the birthday of Abraham Lincoln, Feb. 12, and George Washington, on the 22nd.
Perhaps all of us who have ever felt enslaved by anything or any person find agreement with the words of President Lincoln, used in addressing the Indiana Regtiment on March 17, 1865, when he said, “Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.”
Lincoln, because he was one of them, had the unusual gift of understanding the needs of ordinary people. A quality needed in every President, but not correctly understood by all who were entrusted with that position.
President Lincoln called for a day of “Proclamation Appointing a National Fast Day” on March 30, 1863, and among its words were these: “Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us! It behooves us then to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.”
Lincoln continued, “Now, therefore, in compliance with the request and fully concurring in the view of the Senate, I do, by this proclamation, designate and set apart Thursday, the 30th day of April, 1863, as a day of national humiliation, fasting and prayer.”
With his hand upon an open Bible, George Washington took the oath of office on April 30, 1789, in New York City, as the first President of the United States. In his Inaugural Address to both houses of Congress, he said, “We ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained;...”
May God give us more presidents and government leaders who seek to obey the eternal Word of God by which we will all be finally judged.
I just wonder, are our children of every age and grade level in our public schools taught to believe and obey the words of Holy Scripture? There was a day when the Bible was read in our schools. If in all the schools of our nation that word of divine truth was taught, I doubt seriously that we would have the problems we now have.
In 26 more days, Spring begins. I have already seen little white flowers in full bloom and signs indicating that other growths are taking place. That will usher in the time to plant. Easter Sunday will be observed on March 31. That exciting day will help us to say a fond farewell to wintertime and enjoy the blessings of new life.
Bill Ellis is a syndicated columnist who can be reached at P.O. Box 345, Scott Depot, WV 25560; phone 304-757-6089.