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November is the month of the Thanksgiving Day holiday in America. But why do we have Thanksgiving? We know the Pilgrims held the first Thanksgiving Day in 1621, which was the first harvest time they had here. They wanted to thank the Lord Jesus Christ for His protection and provision in this new world they had entered. They indeed, wanted it to be a new world! They came here to start a new culture based on the Word of God; and that’s exactly what they did!
One of the greatest descriptions of the Pilgrims I’ve ever read was written by Billy Graham in the November, 2002 issue of Decision magazine. I want to quote him at length:
Dr. Graham begins: “Emerson once said that ‘all history resolves itself…into the biography of a few stout and earnest persons.’ It is appropriate at this season that we honor ‘a few stout and earnest’ Englishmen—the Pilgrims—who left their native land in search of freedom to worship God.”
“This is a day of cynicism, yet no amount of cynicism or ridicule can take away what the Pilgrims did more than 380 years ago.”
“The Mayflower’s voyage to the new world was a ‘survival test’ on a huge scale. The passengers had sold their possessions and had to work for years to pay for their passage. The ship had no heat or plumbing. Storms raged, and a main beam cracked in mid-ocean.”
“But after more than two months on the Atlantic Ocean, this band of 102 people arrived before Christmas, 1620. William Bradford, their governor, wrote in his journal, ‘Being thus arrived at a good harbor, and brought safely to land, they fell on their knees and blessed the God of heaven Who had brought them over the vast and furious ocean and delivered them from all the perils and miseries thereof.’ What a celebration that must have been!”
“But just after Christmas a serious sickness broke out, and in the next three months nearly half the Pilgrims died. Hunger and illness stalked them, but they never wavered in their purpose.”
“Today if these Pilgrims could observe our troubled world with its disillusioned outlook, its rebelliousness and its erosion of traditional values, they would be not only dismayed, but also shocked. However, since their time, certain things have not changed. There is still lust, greed, hatred and prejudice in the human heart. There is still persecution and war in the world. (Dr. Graham says) With all of the world’s churches and universities, we would do well to go back to the church and the school of early Plymouth to see what those pioneers can teach us.”
Dr. Graham is certainly right, though we’ll have to wait till next time to hear what he says the Pilgrims left us as an example to follow. It’s sad that present public school textbooks, and TV mini-series, as well as the news media give us such an un-true view of what the Pilgrims were like. Either through ignorance or by design, the liberal, “education elite” teach us that the Pilgrims were a little band of castaways washed up onto New England’s rocky shore and just, quote, “lucked” their way into becoming the greatest nation in world history. That’s not what great statesmen who lived closer to their time thought about them.
Daniel Webster, one of the greatest lawyers America ever produced said, as he was reflecting on who the Pilgrims and Puritans were:
“…Our fathers were brought here by their high [respect] for the Christian religion…They sought to incorporate its principles with…their society…and to diffuse its influence through all their institutions; civil, political, or [educational].”
(America’s God & Country, p.669)
Are you doing the same?
Think about it; because if you don’t, someone else will do your thinking for you—
and for your children! And you won’t like what that brings to you. I’m Don Pinson, this has been Think About It.