It would be possible for a tourist visiting America for the first time in late November to look for the true significance and meaning of our Thanksgiving holiday without success. Like the national Feasts of the Old Testament era, our Thanksgiving celebrations have become more about feast and family than humble acknowledgement of a beneficent God who has providentially preserved and governed us with abundant grace and goodness. The seventeenth-century historical event that ultimately led to Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation has become disconnected, intellectually and spiritually, from our modern celebrations. What happened with the Pilgrims and Native American Indians in November of 1621 is no longer the preeminent foundation for the festivities that will take place in thousands of homes across our land this coming Thursday. However, this does not have to be true of us.
By remembering the Mayflower, those who participated in the first Thanksgiving, Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation, and the clear teaching of God’s Word, let us seek to repair our own broken foundations and have our hearts stirred to remember and give thanks to the only living and true God. It is a wonderful privilege and honor to bow in adoration and humble thanksgiving before the sovereign Lord of heaven and earth, the Giver of every good and perfect gift, and to acknowledge Him as the Source of all of our blessings.
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The Unredacted Story of the Pilgrims Who Came to America in 1620. A collection of the details and the stories behind the voyage and the first Thanksgiving at Plymouth.
A Time for Truth
There has been a decline of truth in the West which even encompasses diverse beliefs and false claims about the Pilgrims and Thanksgiving. However, for those interested in pursuing the historical story of the those who landed at Plymouth Rock in the 17 th century, there is a deep satisfaction in learning what the sovereign hand of God was doing in guiding the Mayflower to the shores of America.
Why the Pilgrims left England
What drove the Pilgrims and their families away from their homeland? Had they not fled, what would they have faced under the authoritative rule of James I?
Why the Pilgrims Left Leiden, Holland for America
After living, working, and raising their children in Leiden for twelve years, the Pilgrims gave specific reasons for seeking a charter from James I to sail to America to establish a plantation.
The Voyage of the Pilgrims to America Aboard the Mayflower
The conditions for crossing the Atlantic were turbulent and frightening
but, by the grace and protection of God, they arrived safely on
the shores of Cape Cod.
The Mayflower Compact
After landing off the coast of Massachusetts on November 9, 1620,
the Pilgrims signed the Mayflower Compact, a social contract to
protect and help them survive in their new environment.
About one year after the Pilgrims landed, they joined with the
Native American Indians and held a three-day celebration, feasting,
enjoying one another, and giving thanks to God.
The Thanksgiving Proclamation
On October 3, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed his Thanksgiving Proclamation inviting the citizens of America to offer “thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”