Thanksgiving and our Christian heritage

By Angela Wittman



"Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people." (1 Chronicles 16:8, KJV)

While preparing for the gathering of family and friends this Thanksgiving season, let’s not forget to also prepare our hearts in humble gratefulness to God for the blessings and grace which He has bestowed upon us as individuals and as a nation.

Here is a bit of history about Thanksgiving which you may not have been taught in school as taken from the website “A Puritan’s Mind” by Dr. C. Matthew McMahon:

“The celebration we now popularly regard as the ‘First Thanksgiving’ was the Pilgrims' three-day feast celebrated in early November of 1621 (although a day of thanks in America was observed in Virginia at Cape Henry in 1607)...

“The Pilgrims left Plymouth, England, on September 6, 1620, sailing for a new world that offered the promise of both civil and religious liberty. The Pilgrims had earlier left England in 1608, as the Church of England had curtailed their freedom to worship according to their individual consciences.

“The Pilgrims had settled in Holland for twelve years, where they found spiritual liberty in the midst of a disjointed economy (which failed to provide adequate compensation for their labors) and a dissolute, degraded, corrupt culture (which tempted their children to stray from faith). For almost three months, 102 seafarers braved harsh elements to arrive off the coast of what is now Massachusetts, in late November of 1620. On December 11, prior to disembarking at Plymouth Rock, they signed the "Mayflower Compact," America's original document of civil government and the first to introduce self-government...

“Upon landing in America, the Pilgrims conducted a prayer service, then quickly turned to building shelters. Starvation and sickness during the ensuing New England winter killed almost half their population, but through prayer and hard work, with the assistance of their Indian friends, the Pilgrims reaped a rich harvest in the summer of 1621.”

As we gather with loved ones, let us reflect upon our Christian heritage and remember that “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.” (Psalm 33: 12). Amen.

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