So let me get this straight, “Black Friday” has been replaced by “Brown Thursday”? With stores opening as early as 6:00am on Thanksgiving Day, I guess Granny will have some empty seats at the table this year (since blenders are half-price). As one who once worked in retail, I really feel for the workers giving up their family time.
Here’s the deal, I love Thanksgiving. It’s one of my favorite holidays for a lot of reasons (a big one being great food of course). But in all seriousness, it saddens me to think that the main idea of the holiday is being sacrificed on the “door-buster-sale” altar. So, to the question, “Is Thanksgiving going away?” No, not as long as there are those of us who’ll commit to gathering for the purpose of giving thanks to our Great God for His wonderful blessings. And in that spirit, here are a few reminders about the first Thanksgiving celebration to get us started:
- In 1620, there were 102 people who spent 65 difficult days at sea coming to the New World to begin new lives.
- Before leaving the ship, they created a revolutionary document called the “Mayflower Compact”.
- Their first winter was especially brutal and claimed the lives of 58 of them, with only a few healthy enough at any time to care for the sick and bury the dead.
- The next autumn (1621), the remaining 44 gathered with new Native American friends and specifically thanked God for His provision.
Consider this quote attributed to one of them, “It is not with us as with other men, whom small things can discourage.” Wow, small things? Now those are some folks worth recognizing while enjoying the turkey and dressing.
In case you would like to refresh your memory, here are the words of the Mayflower Compact. It’s brief, but bold. Their sacrifice paved the way for us and I’m thankful for those who committed themselves to such a challenge. God has blessed us greatly as a nation and I pray we’ll continue to thank Him for it.
“IN THE NAME OF GOD, AMEN. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c. Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the first Colony in the northern Parts of Virginia; Do by these Presents, solemnly and mutually, in the Presence of God and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid: And by Virtue hereof do enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions, and Officers, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general Good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due Submission and Obedience.
IN WITNESS whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape-Cod the eleventh of November, in the Reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth, Anno Domini; 1620.”