The meaning of Thanksgiving has largely been lost in the revision of history by those who do not believe in God, or are antagonistic towards Him. The story we read today has only two groups of actors. First the Pilgrims, and secondly the Indians, or Native Americans, if we follow the dictates of those who adhere to politically correct culture. The third, and most important Actor, is totally left out of contemporary accounts of the first Thanksgiving. This Actor is none other than God, Father and Creator of the universe.
Anyone familiar with the complete historical account of the Pilgrims is aware of the document they produced prior to setting foot on land to establish Plymouth Colony. Known as the Mayflower Compact, it declared in part that the land that they were about to colonize was dedicated to the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith.
The first winter in the new land was brutal. Food was short, and many died from disease. The arrival of Spring gave them the opportunity to clear land, sow crops and work towards an harvest. The Indians were instrumental in providing guidance and assistance in living successfully in the land. The colonists were grateful for their help, and there was no animosity between the two groups. After the harvest, the colonists invited the Indians to join them in a feast of Thanksgiving.
Modern historians assert that the purpose of the meal was to thank the Indians for their help. While the members of Plymouth Colony were certainly grateful to their neighbors, they didn’t invite them to join them in order to thank them. They invited them to share a meal and jointly thank God for saving their lives and showing them how to succeed in the land they claimed for Him. They never lost sight of the PROVIDER, while thanking Him for the provision received. I don’t know all the scripture that was shared on that first day of Thanksgiving, but these verses would have been appropriate. ” Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:6-7)
We must always be grateful to those who help us, work with us, and inspire us to succeed. When we show our gratitude to them, we must also thank God FOR them. It is God who brings people into our lives to help. It is our Heavenly Father who inspires us to help others. Philippians 2:3-4 tells us “When you do things, do not let selfishness or pride be your guide. Instead, be humble and give more honor to others than to yourselves. Do not be interested only in your own life, but be interested in the lives of others.”
Marsha and I are grateful to you, our family, partners, and friends, who make the Ministry of Beachside Fellowship possible. More importantly, we are thankful to God who created you, saved you, and made you a part of our family and His. “When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” (Eph 3:14-19)
On this Thanksgiving Day, Marsha and I are thankful to God for you. You will always hold a special place in our hearts. We pray that this day will be truly special for you and your family, and that your lives will be filled with the joy and peace only God can give.
We hold you in our hearts as God holds you in His hands.