The Pilgrims Gave Thanks
We have much to be thankful for regardless of circumstance.
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thess 5:16-18)
We’ve all heard the story of the first Thanksgiving feast celebrated by the Pilgrims. It happened in 1621, almost 400 years ago. It had been a hard year for the Pilgrims. They had arrived in America too late in the year to plant any crops. Because of this they were hungry much of the time. They were not in good health, and many of their friends and family got sick. In fact almost half of them died during that first winter in America. So when the harvest came in the fall of 1621 the Pilgrims knew that they were probably going to be safe. They had plenty of food to eat now and plenty to store away for the upcoming winter. The Pilgrims wanted to give thanks to God for giving them so much. So they decided to have a feast. Their neighbors, the Wampanoag Indians brought deer they had hunted and everyone settled down for a huge meal and celebration that lasted three days.
Most everybody knows that this is the story of the first Thanksgiving Feast, but it is not the only story of Thanksgiving among the Pilgrims.
You see two years later was the year 1623. And 1623 was a very dry year at the Plymouth colony. There was a drought and the Pilgrims were worried that their crops would fail and they wouldn’t have enough food. But you know what? They still had Thanksgiving. Now it wasn’t a feast it was a fast. When times were hard they would take a day and not eat. They did this because want to focus totally on God. They thanked God for what He had given them and prayed for his help through the coming winter. You see whether the Pilgrims had a lot or a little they wanted to thank God for his provision.
They didn’t just thank God for providing them with food they thanked him for giving us His Son. You see the bible says:
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thess 5:16-18) [emphasis mine]
You see God has already given us His Son Jesus to take our punishment for any bad things we have done. So whether our tummies are full, or our tummies are grumbly, whether the future looks bright or the future looks scary we still have so much to be thankful for.
Can we pray together? God you have given us so much over the last year, but the most important gift ever is the gift of Your Son Jesus. Thank you so much. Amen