November 24, 2017
Yesterday, while celebrating Thanksgiving with one of our sons and his family — and after visiting on the phone with our son who was in Japan yesterday — our local daughter-in-law showed us a YouTube. At my request, she emailed me the link last night. You can watch it below:
The 9-minute YouTube is “The Lost Secrets of Thanksgiving.”
The above video is about the people we call the Pilgrims, and the Separatists that accompanied them when they set sail for Virginia from Holland, aboard the Mayflower. The Mayflower ended up much farther north than had been planned — just off Cape Cod. Even though they had gone so far off course, they believed that God had taken them there. They named the area Plimoth (Plymouth).
Below is a summary of “The Lost Secrets of Thanksgiving.”
Before leaving the Mayflower to go ashore, they wrote out an agreement called the Mayflower Compact — based on faith in God, and freedom — and it was dedicated to: “The Glory of God and advancement of the Christian faith, and the honor of our King and country.” It was the first time there was self-government in “the New World.”
During their first winter many got sick, starved and died – but those who remained trusted that God had brought them there, and that He would take care of them.
Samoset, an English-speaking Indian, came to visit them. He was staying with Massasoit, the chief of a nearby tribe. Samoset introduced the Pilgrims to their surroundings, and told them of people who lived nearby. He helped them set up a treaty with Massasoit’s people.
God brought Squanto to the Pilgrims — he was an Indian who had previously lived where the Pilgrims were living. All the people in Squanto’s village (where the Pilgrims were living) had died in a plague several months before the Pilgrims arrived. Squanto had been captured years earlier, had been made a slave in Spain, was purchased by monks in a Catholic Monastery, and became a Christian. Here he was, educated and fluent in English. What are the odds? The Pilgrims knew that God had prepared the way for Squanto to visit them. Squanto and the Pilgrims became close friends, and Squanto trained, and helped the Pilgrims.
The Pilgrims were an example of “self-government, covenant keeping, and faith in God.”
What was a key to their blessed life? — “a genuine spirit of thanks giving” — having “an attitude of gratitude.” The Pilgrims would thank God both in good times, and in bad times.
[As you read Governor William Bradford’s account of their first Thanksgiving, you will notice that the Pilgrims “set aside a day of solemn jubilation” (joy), and began praying and fasting. It was a day following many months of drought, with crops that were withering and dying. Bradford tells of how God brought gentle rain that evening, followed by days of the right kind of rain and sunshine. It resulted in “a fruitful harvest.” “For which mercy (in time convenient) they also set apart a day of thanksgiving.” Ninety Indians shared in their feasting and joyous gratitude.]