"Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods."
(Psalms 95:2, 3 KJV)
The Origin of Thanksgiving Day
In August 1620, the Mayflower, a 180-ton ship, set sail from Southampton, England. After difficulties with the vessel, resulting in her return to port, finally the voyage began. Her 102 passengers were to become some of the founding pilgrims of the United States of America. After weeks of plowing through the tumultuous Atlantic waters, battling strong winds, pounding waves and a number of problems with their vessel, the pilgrims spotted Cape Cod, off the coast of Massachusetts. Their intended location was off the Virginia coast, where other pilgrims had begun colonies.
Before anchoring at Plymouth Rock and disembarking to explore the territory, the pilgrims devised the "Mayflower Compact." This was to serve as the basis for governing their new colony, where all would have the freedom to worship God as they chose. The compact stated, "We, whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread sovereign lord King James... Having undertaken, for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith, and honor 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 of another, covenant, and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic... and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, offices from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the colony... Cape Cod, the 11th of November... " (Mourt's Relation: A Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth).
The next few months would prove to be difficult and trying. More than half of the original pilgrims did not survive the first, long, bleak New England winter. Often, two or three people would die in one day due to infection and sickness.
But, with the approaching of spring came new hope. The survivors built homes and planted crops. They made friendships with local Indian tribes, and traded with them. The passing of winter allowed the pilgrims to labor and produce, causing the colony to flourish.
After reaping their first harvest in the fall of 1621, the pilgrims dedicated a day for thanking God for the bounty with which He had blessed them. They had endured the many hardships that came with pioneering a new land.
This was start of a new area to spread God's Word. Join us at Living Word Baptist Church to hear God's Word.
Flo & Bill