While we are awaiting recounts and legal challenges in our Arizona elections, let’s take a break and give thanks to God for the gifts of freedom, liberty and yes, the right to pick our representatives that we have in the United States of America. More than ever, we need to pray for our leaders whether or not we voted for them.
The first Thanksgiving on November 26, 1621 marks a time that the Pilgrims joined with Native Americans to celebrate abundance after a harrowing beginning in the new world. During the first year, over half the settlers had died. Undoubtedly, 1620 was a bad year, yet they found in themselves great faith and gave thanks to the Lord for the abundant crop God had given them, along with food provided by the Indians.
In 1620, the Pilgrims left a town called Plymouth in Southern England to seek religious liberty. On the ship called the Mayflower, holding about 100 Pilgrims, they endured 65 days on rough seas, only to miss their destination of Virginia, landing in a place they named Plymouth on what is now Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
The people were in great disagreement so their leader, William Bradford, authored a “civic body politic.” It was called the Mayflower Compact and 41 men signed it, establishing self government. The Pilgrims were in agreement to work together for mutual survival.
Having rules written down and agreed upon by the citizenry is an important aspect of a civil society. In America, this tradition of being governed by documented rules lives today in our US Constitution. The most important document to live by is God’s word - the Bible. Like the Pilgrims’ Mayflower Compact, our US Constitution was designed around biblical principles.
The Pilgrims were united in Christ and decided to experiment in common property. This socialistic approach proved disastrous. With no incentive, many fields remained untilled. People resented working while slackers did not produce. The result was near starvation.
William Bradford suggested a plan of giving each person a parcel of land and empowering them to exercise their God given ability. They agreed, resulting in a bumper crop with enough excess to feed the widows, orphans and infirmed.
We give thanks to God for blessing America as the most free and prosperous nation in the world. We also thank the Pilgrims for showing us that socialism doesn’t work and setting the stage for the free market economy that has helped make America great.