Thanksgiving 1622 so different from 2010
Fort Collins, Colo.
Knowing that William Brewster is our ancestor gave our children bragging rights in Show and Tell. When they heard his name on the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving television show, they would claim their lineage back to the 53-year-old man who gave the prayer at the first Thanksgiving.
The show didn’t depict the hardships that had been endured from the time the pilgrims landed in Massachusetts on December 26, 1620. In spite of the bad conditions, they clung to their faith and kept a spirit of gratitude. They invited the Wampanoag Indians who had taught them how to plant corn, hunt and fish to celebrate the first Thanksgiving.
When the guests saw there wasn’t enough food for the three day celebration, they headed to the woods to hunt for deer.
They didn’t have a modern kitchen in which to cook the meal, nor a dining hall to serve it. The time and amount of work it took to prepare the banquet for more than 140 people would have been daunting in the best of circumstances. A month later, after sharing their food at the celebration of Thanksgiving, they were restricted to half rations. Yet, they were grateful for their God’s care.
Fast forward 390 years to 2010. The Pilgrims would be awestruck at the ease of our lives, and amazed at our grumbling as our feasts are prepared in modern kitchens, either in our homes or restaurants. Everything from turkeys to wine can be purchased at nearby supermarkets. Some of us work for days baking in anticipation of having relatives and friends around a table laden with food. Others buy the complete meal that just has to be re-heated.
After a prayer to thank the Lord for the food, and hardly a thought of all the things we have to be thankful for, the meal is quickly devoured. Afterwards, those on clean-up duty clear away the leftovers and dirty dishes while others settle in front of the television to watch football.
Thinking of the physical hardships the Pilgrims had may make our problems seem small, but we do live in uncertain times that can rob our joy. Like the Pilgrims, we must look to God for comfort and support. We should not rely on ourselves, but build relationships with those around us and the Lord. Then we will see the many reasons we have to be thankful.
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