The First Thanksgiving, by Jennie Augusta Brownscombe
I love sweeping, captivating tales of real men and women of courage who believed they were present in this world for God's glory, who took risks to worship Him, lived courageously and held fast against great odds to the goodness and promises of God--even in times of trial.
Plymouth was the place of such a tale. A small and dwindling group of seemingly frail people, invisible to the world at large, taking time to worship and thank their Creator God for His lovingkindness and mercy and provision. And yet they were not invisible to God. Their tale has lived on to inspire many thousands to live a life of faith. This is what I would call a story of intentional, purposeful hearts devoted to joy, celebrating the reality of God, acting in obedience to worship and praise Him. Another picture of God taking the small, faithful and turning it into an eternal work.
We are in a different sort of time, but one that is trying to believers nonetheless. Erosion of Biblical morality, economic pressures, the breakup of marriages, materialism, godless values ... and yet, here we are, blessed to know Him, to know our future is secure with Him for all eternity, where we will celebrate the great feast of all times, when we are with Him face to face.
It is a time for us to celebrate our own feast to His reality this Thanksgiving, as an act of faith for His reality, power, provision and blessing in our own time. This is a time when He can still use the acts of faithful people to turn the world upside down.
I love having the opportunity to celebrate this great story with our family. The story of Squanto is amazing. To see how God used one man, took him all the way to Europe as a slave to learn English, to be led to the Lord by monks, so that he could return to America in order to help save the Pilgrims by showing them how to live in this new world. (The Disney movie about Squanto is actually very beautiful.)
Even the story of the Pilgrims themselves--the idea that man had the right to worship God and hold fast to his beliefs and to do whatever necessary to provide for their children is a model of what we should follow--to fight for the ability to worship God, to pass on our faith to our children, to make this a supreme priority--what a great story to pattern our lives after. So, be sure this Thanksgiving, to not forget the real reason of this holiday. Notice the fingerprints of God in history, His fingerprints of grace and blessing in our own lives. We can dream with our children how we might leave a legacy of faith, bringing His kingdom to bear in our own generation. And to celebrate His goodness to us this year by taking the time to praise and worship Him together. How blessed we are to have such a heritage!
Some favorite Thankgiving books:
A Thanksgiving game to play online, here
Some favorite children's books:
There are so many more in my library--but these are a few.
Finally, a great unit study for your children, should you want to use it as a guide
I have so many other books about early American history, but I hope you enjoy these books and have a peaceful week.
Happy week before Thanksgiving!