"Happy Thanksgiving!"

On Sept 16, 1620 two ships set sail from Plymouth England, The Speedwell and the Mayflower. The Speedwell encountered much difficulty as they began their journey so they returned to Plymouth and the 42 passengers from the Speedwell joined the 60 passengers and 30 crew members aboard the Mayflower. After pounding storms at sea, disease, sea-sickness, hunger and death the haggard group came into sight of a place now called Cape Cod on November 19, 1620. Two had died and one had been born.

Before going ashore, they decided to write a document known as the Mayflower Compact. At the heart of the compact lay an undisputed conviction that God must be at the center of all law and order and the law without a moral base is really no law at all.

The day the Pilgrims signed the Mayflower Compact, according to William Bradford (who became their governor for 33 years), "they came to anchor in the Bay, which was a good harbor...and they thanked the God of Heaven, who brought them over the fast and furious ocean...and a sea of trouble. And they read the following from the Geneva Bible (the Bible the Pilgrims used) "LET THEM, THEREFORE PRAISE THE LORD, BECAUSE HE IS GOOD AND HIS MERCIES ENDURE FOREVER."

This coming Thursday we will be celebrating Thanksgiving Day. Many will be busy cooking turkeys, making stuffing, baking pumpkin pies.... and watching football games. And that is fun stuff! It is important to get together with loved ones, but that is not what Thanksgiving Day is really about. It's not about food and fun, but rather it is about giving thanks to the Lord God Almighty.

We usually picture the first Thanksgiving in America, as the time when the Pilgrims and the Indians got together for a great feast (though I really don't know how they could have eaten pumpkin pie without cool whip). But I tend to look at that time, when on the sea battered Mayflower anchored in the bay at Cape Cod, a group of weary and worn men and women were on their knees praising their God in heaven for bringing them safely through the treacherous sea to this new land, as the real first thanksgiving.

Give God the thanks, this Thanksgiving Day, for all that He has done for you.



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  1502 Neely's Bend
  Madison, Tennessee 37115
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