Wednesday, November 26, 2003

As we enter Thanksgiving in the morning it would be good to read again the MayFlower Compact.

"In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord, King James, by the Grace of God, of England, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia; do by these presents, solemnly and mutually in the Presence of God and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid; And by Virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the General good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.In Witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape Cod the eleventh of November, in the Reign of our Sovereign Lord, King James of England, France and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno Domini, 1620."

Here at the truths that brought the Pilgrims to America
1. They did this is in the name of God.
2. They did it for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith.
3. Establish a colony based on just and and equal laws that worked for the general good of the colony.
4. They had great reverence for their king.

They established Plymouth on December 21, 1620. Their first year they planted 26 acres and nearly starved to death. As Governor Bradford reported, they gathered what they had the small harvest that they had. The Indians gave them some meat. They shared together the first thanksgiving in America. There was no feast and many were hungry.

The second year, knowing they had to go all out, but still under the obligation to practice communal agriculture, they doubled their first year’s production, and planted 60 acres. But that was no by means enough, they still were near starvation.

And so the third year, they switched to private agriculture, assigned each family its own property, made each responsible for itself. They planted 184 acres, tripled their best previous effort, and never went hungry again. William Bradford wrote: "Thus out of small beginnings greater things have been produced by His hand that made all things of nothing, and gives being to all things that are; and as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone unto many, yea in some sort to our whole nation; let the glorious name of Jehovah have all the praise."

These early Americans were men and women of great faith, great courage, and great perseverance. May we remember this Thanksgiving that God has called us to be men and women of faith, courage, and great perseverance. When we walk long enough and see God faithful to His Word, then our thanksgivings will resound with real meaning. Thanksgiving has real meaning when we reflect on God's grace and provisions.

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