How can you celebrate your Christianity this Thanksgiving?
In the midst of the planning, meal prep and stress of kicking off the holidays, we are called to remember the value of our faith and to celebrate God as we give thanks on Thanksgiving. Can you recall the roots of the Thanksgiving tradition? This year, remind your children that the faith the pilgrims had in God led to the celebration of this annual holiday we all enjoy today.
Arriving in Massachusetts in late November, the Pilgrims sought a suitable landing place. On December 11, just before disembarking at Plymouth Rock, they signed the “Mayflower Compact”—America’s first document of civil government and the first to introduce self-government.
After a prayer service, the Pilgrims began building hasty shelters. However, unprepared for thestarvation and sickness of a harsh New England winter, nearly half died before spring. Yet, persevering in prayer, and assisted by helpful Indians, they reaped a bountiful harvest the following summer.
The grateful Pilgrims then declared a three-day feast, starting on December 13, 1621, to thank God and to celebrate with their Indian friends. While this was not the first Thanksgiving in America (thanksgiving services were held in Virginia as early as 1607), it was America’s first Thanksgiving Festival.
Eileen Dummer MA, LPCC
Lighthouse Counseling LTD
Hutchinson, Redwood Falls, Litchfield, Willmar, Minnetonka