Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The First Thanksgiving

In 1969 three men left planet Earth and two of them became the first to ever walk on the Moon. However, even that trip, although longer than that which the Puritans took, was not as difficult. They had heat and sanitation, were not overcrowded, a complete mission written out, had constant contact with experts, and the best equipment of the time. The pilgrims were crammed into a small ship, endured horrible below deck conditions, fought disease,  and no plans other than to survive as best they might. When they got there, they would have to build houses from nothing, grow crops from nothing, build a nation from nothing, and oh yes, they were surrounded by hostile Indians.

In the early sixteen hundreds the tyrant King James I was persecuting the Christians of England who refused to bow to his rule in the church. The Separatists fled this persecution to Holland, where they lived for some time before they realized that their children were being corrupted by the culture and were becoming lax in the beliefs of their parents, throwing of the reins of Separatist theology. The men had then to make a choice, go to the New World, and brave death in a thousand forums, or watch their children walk away from the faith. They decided to take a trip more difficult then the Moon landings rather than watch their children fall.

The story of the first thanksgiving is a story of friendship between such Indians as Squanto and the Pilgrims, as well as the story of endurance, but is is much more than that, it is the story of men who were not going to see their children go the way of all the world, and were willing to go three thousand miles across treacherous oceans and brave death by a thousand means to stop it. God, in His Providence, allowed the Pilgrims not only to survive storms, starvation and disease, but also hostile Indians, wild animals and famine so that His purpose and mission could be fulfilled.

"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." William Bradford

The light they kindles still shines on in millions of descendants, the document they wrote, the mayflower compact, was to become, in a manner of speaking, the framework of ideas that would eventually lead to  what we now know as the American Constitution.

Through His Strength We Will Conquer,
Andrew C. Abbott

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