“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1Thessalonians 5:18)
We are approaching Thanksgiving Day. Of all holidays, I think Thanksgiving to be the most authentic.
Oh, I know some of the problems such as various activities men have incorporated such as football,
parties, big movie openings, and overall a big holiday, while preparing for shopping on “Black Friday”,
That’s the day merchants live for all year that will put their revenues “in the black” as they kick off
Christmas sales in earnest (though the Christmas merchandising began with some stores in late August).
But the core of the holiday is good. It was started long ago at Plymouth, Massachusetts.
Commercialization was certainly not the goal of the first Thanksgiving back in Plymouth colony in the
autumn of 1621. (Click here for an interesting, concise, account of Thanksgiving Day’s history).
http://wilstar.com/holidays/thankstr.htm Some of the stories written about Plymouth, the Pilgrims, and
even the Mayflower totally ignore the religious aspect of it all in keeping with today’s totally insane
“political correctness”. But the fact is, the Pilgrims, who were English Puritan separatists, came to
America to find freedom to worship God Almighty. They had been persecuted in England; disappointed
in the general carnality of Dutch life, even though they had more freedom after going to Holland. So
they contracted a sailing vessel to strike out for the new world with a hope of freely serving God, and
building their own society here. That was the real beginning of the United States of America.
The Mayflower Compact, which they drew up on the way over, is one of the bedrocks of America’s
foundation, for they set up a “civil body politick” which was the first sort of a “declaration of
independence”. It expressed their determination to govern themselves under God, with due allegiance
to the British government. It begins unlike any secular document, with these words “In ye name of
God, amen”. It is the root of our Declaration of Independence. It was a true Christian foundation.
Thus it began, and upon arrival in the new world they landed briefly at Cape Cod, finally settled at
Plymouth Rock in 1620, and after losing 46 of the original 102 passengers, the rest struggled to survive.
They were provided help by the local native Indians. One year later they gathered all over the colony for
meals shared with the native Wampanoag. It lasted for several days straight, giving thanks and
remembrance of God’s blessings on them all. It did not become a tradition until a few years later (more
online info about this first feast). http://www.theholidayspot.com/thanksgiving/history.htm
In fact, there is no other nation on earth that had a founding in the same way as the United States. Think
about it. The Pilgrims were searching for a place to worship the Lord without persecution. They prayed
much about it. The Lord led them here. They had to come by faith. They left their homeland and came to
the shores of New England, not knowing from one day to the next how they would survive. It was hard,
but God enabled them. Over the years it is clear that God guided this nation in many ways giving it
strength which could have come from nowhere else.
Wouldn’t it be a shame to see her fall now, after all these years? There has been a decline of the spiritual
life here, especially in the last 75 years. Does that mean it is too late? I think not, but time is running out.
It will take an act of God to revive America, but the same God who gave her life can revive her, if it be
His will. I pray that it is, and that He will.
I have been reading about one great revival in America; The Great Awakening in the 18th century. It was
truly remarkable. The breath of God appeared in the effort which began in Massachusetts. There was
much opposition, but God prevailed, and many were saved. The land was affected by it. As it happened
before the revolution, it was likely the spark of the revolution. It gave it life and breath. There were other
awakenings in our land. God’s hand is not shortened that He cannot reach out and save. His breath is not
shut off that He cannot blow it upon a barren land. His word is still true. Let’s cry unto Him for life! I
believe that without God’s help, all is lost here. Unless He hears us, we are doomed! Please take
advantage of this Thanksgiving Day to beseech God for a turning in our land. Cry to Him for mercy for
yourself, and your loved ones, and your land. He is a merciful God who will hear us if we cry!
I usually cover this history each year, because I find it so fascinating. I want others to see it, and begin
enjoying the celebration of it. It actually has more for me to commend than any other holiday that we
have in America. Just the matter of fact way that we simply may gather to worship and be thankful
moves me. I know that most do not do this, be we do, and I believe we should. Our scripture says
“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
This is so striking. It tells us simply, and clearly, that God is running things in His world that He made.
He says that it is His will that we thank Him for His control and for His provision. We should thank Him
for His will in Christ Jesus concerning us. Were it not for God, we would all be lost. Because of his grace
we have eternal redemption in Jesus Christ. Because of Him we are saved from sin and hell. It
involves nothing that we did, but all accomplished by our Lord Jesus Christ at the cross. We must
praise Him for this!
Things I am thankful for include:
-My dear wife of almost 50 years, and how she has been faithful and true.
-My four children, three of which survive. All have declared faith in Christ.
-My twelve grandchildren. I love them; they are all precious to me.
-Our church where Christ is preached, and the brothers and sisters there.
-The renewed ministry God has given me in writing and pulpit, and for its fruit.
-Many brothers and sisters in various places who pray for me and give support.
-A land that still has much freedom, though it is being undermined greatly.
-I am thankful for generally good health for my wife and myself.
-The graciousness and mercy of God for every day which we live.
These are just a few of the many things for which I thank God. As you enjoy this Thanksgiving,
hopefully with your family, take time to reflect on the mercies of God in your own life, as well
as a prayer for our nation and its future, and the cause of God and truth in Jesus Christ our Lord.
He is coming again soon. Help prepare your family and friends to be ready to meet Him.
Published by Charles Woodruff- email: firstname.lastname@example.org