2009-11-27 - Thanksgiving Remembrances
Originally Published 2005-11-24
Ps 30:5 For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. (KJV)
I have many memories of Thanksgiving, as many of us do. Some of funny family stories, and 30+ people in one house all playing games and talking. But one memory I have is from my reading. I read a book years ago called The Light and the Glory by Peter Marshall and David Manuel. I'm not even sure it is in print any more. The book cataloged the history of our country from a perspective that God may have had a purpose in hiding the Americas from Europe for so long. A few chapters focused on the Puritans. I read many interesting bits and burst a few myths about the group. They did wear fairly plain clothing for everyday. But they also had very colorful clothes for special events - like community parties - like Thanksgiving. They were not always the stereotypical "wear gray and frown" crowd that we are led to believe they were. Of course, there are times for reverence and for reserved behavior. But there are times for thanksgiving and smiles as well.
Most of us have heard the stories of the terrible winter, when rodents got into the stored grain and food they had setup for the winter. It was going to be close as it was. But now they found themselves desperately short of food. There was no hope of a ship to save them any time soon. I doubt they would have gone anyway. They had to tighten their belts severely. Even so, quite a number died that winter. The ones who lived had every reason for thanks, even in their loss. At the low point of the food shortages, they were all living on five kernels of corn for the day. Their hunger must have been unimaginable to us.
The survivors thanked God for the spring and a good growing season. They bathed their lives and their work in prayer, and pulled together to prevent the same thing from ever happening again. At the famous Thanksgiving feast, where the native Americans showed up to join them, I'm sure those colorful outfits were pulled out for the occasion. They had a reminder at each place setting. At each place on the table, there was a small plate with five kernels of corn.
What a powerful reminder of their utter dependence on God and of what He had brought them through.
God bless us all on this day when we remember to stop and give thanks for the blessings we have. And I hope, between the football and the food and the talk - we can all stop and remember those five kernels of corn, and realize how very very much we have to give thanks for and how much we really do depend on the Lord.
Grace and Peace,