Thoughts on Thanksgiving |

TBC Staff - EN
In 1621, the 53 surviving Pilgrims of the Mayflower company held a Thanksgiving feast. In Of Plymouth Plantation, William Bradford lists the Mayflower passengers and also those who died during the first winter of 1620/1621 and during the spring of 1621. No other ships arrived in Plymouth until after the "First Thanksgiving" celebration. Forty-five of the 102 emigrants died the first winter and were buried. The Pilgrims at the "First Thanksgiving" were the only Mayflower survivors. That works out to a 44 percent mortality rate. The first Thanksgiving feast lasted three days and was attended by 53 Pilgrims and 90 Wampanoag Indians.

Earlier this month, many Christians were disappointed and some were depressed at the 2012 election results. But should believers be surprised, let alone depressed, over such events? Is our hope in this world? Should we not be giving thanks to God not just today but for each day that He gives us?

What was the focus of the Pilgrims? Governor William Bradford wrote that Reverend John Robinson, prior to their departure from Holland and voyage to the New World, "...spent a good part of the day very profitably and suitable to their present occasion; the rest of the time was spent pouring out prayers to the Lord with great fervency, mixed with abundance of tears. And the time being come that they must depart, they were accompanied with most of their brethren out of the city, unto a town sundry miles off called Delftshaven, where the ship lay ready to receive them. So they left that goodly and pleasant city which had been their resting place near twelve years; but they knew they were pilgrims, and looked not much on those things, but lift up their eyes to the heavens, their dearest country, and quieted their spirits."

This excerpt from Bradford's Of Plymouth Plantation  references the Epistle to the Hebrews:11:13-16: "These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city."

--TBC Staff