Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving Thanks...

Our present Thanksgiving tradition goes back to a 1621 celebration at Plymouth in present-day Massachusetts.

My maternal grandmother traced our ancestry to George Soule, who was one of the original 102 Pilgrims who arrived on the Mayflower in 1620. Born in England around 1595, he was a teacher and got passage on the Mayflower as an indentured servant, probably to Edward Winslow whose children he taught. He was one of the forty-one signers of the Mayflower Compact, survived the first winter in Plymouth, and was there for the first Thanksgiving in 1621. He died in 1679 at the age of 84 years, quite a long life in those times.

When I think about the journey those original Mayflower settlers must have had… months cramped in a small wooden ship at the mercy of the weather and water… their bravery and courage to leave all that they had known to go to a strange new land and begin their lives again... knowing that they might not survive the journey, knowing that they might never return to family and friends left behind in England… and all for the right to worship God.

Religious freedom. The first freedom that was fought for in the New World. To be able to give praise, to glorify God, and to believe in Him without fear of persecution.

On this day that has become more closely associated with parades, football, food, and shopping… we should not forget the sacrifice made by those who celebrated the first Thanksgiving… and those who continue to fight for our freedoms today.

When we give thanks… when we give praise to God… thank Him for all that He has given, for all that He was, all that He is, and all that He will be. Thank Him who gave us reason to believe.

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 4:6-7 ~

1 comment:

  1. I grew up in Plymouth, sad to see the holiday getting lost in other celebrations as there is nothing as sweet as simply taking a moment to be thankful for all that is good in your world