Happy Thanksgiving!

Nov 25, 2021 3 min read
Happy Thanksgiving!

Today we celebrate the 400th anniversary of the original Pilgrim Thanksgiving celebration of 1621. Like the Pilgrims did so many years ago, we too should set aside time to thank the Almighty for His continued Providence even in the midst of great difficulty.

Remembering The Pilgrims

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‌The brave Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth in 1620 after a dangerous ocean crossing had no doubt about their utter reliance on God for mere survival. Their circumstances were incredibly difficult and served as a strong motivator for continued prayer and communion with the Lord. After an incredibly difficult winter that resulted in the loss of nearly half of their number, the Plymouth Pilgrims were focused on securing the food necessary to sustain the colony for the new year.

Squanto and other natives shared their knowledge of planting and harvesting methods that had proven successful in the New World. With help from the local peoples and by God's Providence, the Pilgrims were able to secure more than enough provisions for the Plymouth colony during the initial harvest of 1621.

It only seemed natural to the Pilgrims to set aside a time of intentional Thanksgiving to celebrate the blessings they had received and offer their sincere appreciation to God for His providential meeting of their needs. They knew that God was in complete control of their situation and that they were being used to accomplish His purposes. The power of life and death is completely in the hands of God as was manifestly clear to them at all times. Therefore, the Pilgrims understood, perhaps more than most, their total dependence on God and their obligation to give Him the praise and thanks that He is due.

In How the Pilgrim Fathers Lived, the famous chronicle of the history of the Plymouth colony, Edward Winslow provides the following eyewitness account of the events of that Thanksgiving Day:

Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so 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, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week.

At which time, among other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming among us, and among the rest 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 to the plantation, and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God we are so far from want, that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.

As you enjoy a time of gathering and fellowship with friends and family this Thanksgiving Day, let us also remember the goodness of God, as the Pilgrims did 400 years ago. As difficult and trying as present circumstances may be for many, we should learn a lesson from the Pilgrims about facing extreme peril and loss both bravely and faithfully. We can only do so with an utter reliance on God. Our faith is strengthened when we remember to take time to offer our thanks for all He has done for us.

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